-What is a poem made of?
-What is workshop?
-Being a critic
-Course calendar
-Major poet project
-Personal portfolio


Being a Critic:
What it is and what it isn't

One of the ways in which you will participate in this class is by being a critic or one who analyzes the poetry of others. Some of you may think that all a critic does is “cut down” someone else’s work, or point out ways in which the work is bad. While a critic is able to distinguish between something done well and something that isn’t, a good critic primarily understands what a poem is made of, how it is made, what it means, and what makes it good.

To help you become a good poetry critic, I have come up with this series of questions that you can use when you consider the poetry of others as well as your own poems. At first, using the technical language of poetry may seem unfamiliar or awkward, but as we progress through the semester, you’ll easily be able to recognize an effective metaphor or be able to discuss why a particular image evokes a certain tone or feeling.

To help you further understand this delicate balance of over-analyzing a poem and just reading to enjoy one, read "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins.