Graduate Admissions

Creative Writing - Poetry MFA

    PLEASE NOTE: These are samples only. Course offerings are subject to change and not all courses are offered each term or each year. Be sure to check the online course catalog and the current class schedule for details about pre-requisites, terms offered, class fees, etc.).

The aim of poetry workshops is to develop the poetry writing skills of students and to help them possess a greater creative, critical, and aesthetic understanding of their discipline. Students are encouraged to write poetry of the very highest quality. Workshop format makes use of reading assignments, writing exercises, and critique of student work. Students are expected to become familiar with a wide range of models and formal strategies.

Craft Seminars are designed to combine the writing of poetry by graduate students with the study of various poetic topics, theories, and forms. As a result of reading and assessing assigned texts, craft seminars encourage students to examine and articulate their own craft. The following is a list of craft seminars offered in the MFA Poetry program to date:

  • Blur: A Craft Seminar in Hybrid Poetics
  • Forms of Poetry
  • Forms of Poetry: Multicultural Traditions
  • Literary Collage and Collaboration
  • Poetics of the New York School
  • Poetics: Radical Strategies
  • Seminar in Poetry Translation
Modern British and American Poetry
Works of poets such as Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Stein, Bishop, Frost, Auden, Williams, and others are read and discussed in this survey of the Modernist Period, 1900-1945. The course also provides an introduction to post-modernism.
52-5671, 3 credits

Contemporary American Poetry
Works of poets such as Roethke, Ginsberg, Plath, Lowell, Ashbery, Rich, Creeley, Bly, Baraka, Brooks, and others are read and discussed in a survey of the Post-Modernist Period, 1945- Present. The course also examines the rise of important movements such as: Projectivism, the Beats, the New York School, Confessional Poetry, Surrealism, Feminism, the New Formalism, and Multiculturalism.
52-5672, 3 credits

Women Romantic Poets
In this revisionist look at the Romantic Period, students study the poems of women writers who made a significant, if often overlooked, contribution to the period. Focus is primarily on the artistic merits of the poetry, but consideration is also given to the ways in which the definition of the term ?Romantic Poet? might have to be rethought if these writers are to be incorporated in the cannon. Among the writers studied are: Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Hannah More, Charlotte Smith, Ann Yearsley, Mary Robinson, Helen Maria Williams, Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary Tighe, Felicia Hemans, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
52-5706, 3 credits

Poetry of the Long Romantic Era
As a philosophy and an aesthetic, Romanticism continues to shape poetry today. This course surveys the long history of Romanticism from 1750-1900, considering key poets in the context of the aesthetic developments that gave rise to Romanticism and examining the legacy of Romanticism for later poets. Authors studied include: Edward Young, Lady Montagu, Thomas Gray, Oliver Goldsmith, the Wordsworths, S.T. Coleridge, Mary Robinson, John Keats, Alfred Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, and George Meredith.
52-5673, 3 credits

Contemporary World Poetry
Contemporary World Poetry offers students the opportunity to engage in the comparative study of poets and poetics issuing from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Poets covered include: Neruda, Paz, Walcott, Amichai, Transtromer, Milosz, Popa, Hikmet, Darwish, Soyinka, Tamura, and Bly. Whenever necessary, poems are read in translation.
52-5678, 3 credits

Seminar in Literature: Sexton, Oliver and Olds
Students engage in the comparative study of three of the most potent poets of their respective generations: Anne Sexton, Mary Oliver, and Sharon Olds. Discussions of these poets cover the following topics: gender politics, the currency of ?nature? poetry, the lyric poet as shaman, lyric poetry as psychoanalysis, lyric poetry as purgative, the poetry of meaning, and poetry as survival impulse.
52-5690, 3 credits

The Metaphysical Poets

The Metaphysical and the Cavalier poets of the early 17th century wrote intense lyric reflections on human experience that exerted influence well into the 20th century. Their rationalist perspectives on life and death, love and fear, faith and doubt, and other enduring human concerns were articulated in carefully elaborated, at times dissonant, figures and images. The course covers the techniques, aesthetics, and influence of poets such as: Donne, Herbert, Lanyer, Vaughn, Crashaw, Wroth, Jonson, Herrick, Suckling, and Marvell.
52-6674, 3 credits