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Assignments
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Contact

Karl J. Sherlock
Associate Professor, English
Email: karl.sherlock@gcccd.edu
Office Hours: M-Th 4-5:30
Phone: 619-644-7871

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Assignments

Assignments will become available in the menu at left as they are assigned during the semester.
  

Assignment 1

 

Week 1

August 24

prompts assigned

 

Week 3

September 7

first drafts of both poems; cold reading workshop of one of the poems

 

Week 4   

September 14

Critique Workshop of the other poem; critique sheets due

 

Week 6

 

September 28

Due: revisions of both poems; submit in Manila folder (not enveloped) with completed critiques received from your peers at workshop, plus annotated copies of your poem drafts.

 

Assignment 2

 

Week 5

September 21

prompts assigned

 

Week 6

September 28

first drafts of both poems; no cold reading workshop tonight

 

Week 7

October 5

Critique Workshop of the both poems; critique sheets due

 

Week 9

 

October 19

Due: revisions of both poems; submit in Manila folder (not enveloped) with completed critiques received from your peers at workshop, plus annotated copies of your poem drafts.

  

Assignment 3

 

Week 7

October 5

prompts assigned

 

Week 8

October 12

first drafts of both poems; cold reading workshop of one of the poems

 

Week 9

October 19

Critique Workshop of the other poem; critique sheets due

 

Week 13

 

November 16

Due: revisions of both poems; submit in Manila folder (not enveloped) with completed critiques received from your peers at workshop, plus annotated copies of your poem drafts.

 

Assignment 4, A, B & C

 

Week 9

October 19

prompts assigned for 4-A, B and C

 

Week 10   

October 25 [Wednesday]

Due: draft of Poem 4-A for workshop packet (early submissions are appreciated)

Week 10

October 26

Packet 4-A distributed

 

Week 11

November 2

Class-wide Critique Workshop Poem 4-A, first workshop

 

Week 12

November 8 [Wednesday]

Due: draft of Poem 4-B for workshop packet

 

Week 12

November 9

Class-wide Critique Workshop Poem 4-A, workshop continued

Assignment 4-B Workshop Packet distributed

 

Week 13

November 16

Class-wide Critique Workshop Poem 4-B, workshop 

 

Week 15

November 30

Class-wide Critique Workshop Poem 4-B, workshop continued

 

Exam Week

December 14

Final draft of Poem 4-C, and revisions of poems 4-A and 4B; submit all with final portfolio.

 

Final Project and Portfolio Assignment

Conference Schedule

 

Week 10

October 26

project assigned

 

Week 16

December 7

conferences to discuss the final project and your portfolio revisions

 

Exam Week

December 14

Due: Final Project and portfolio of revised/ expanded work, with comments and editing suggestions.

 

 

HOW IT ALL WORKS

There will be two kinds of writing activities during the course:  poetastering exercises and poetry writing assignments.  Click below to read more about them.


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Poetastering Exercises

The word "poetaster" sometimes carries a pejorative (i.e., negative) connotation:  it suggests someone who "fools around" with poetry and doesn't take it very seriously. I encourage fooling around with poetry and having fun with it before committing to a more serious poem project.  A creative mind should play with language, ideas, and literary style to "get a feel" for the more emotionally and psychologically engaging task of writing a poem.  It's like getting wet before you go into the swimming pool, to acclimate yourself to the water.   Each week, then, we'll have "poetastering" exercises to engage you in the attitude and practice of writing poems.  Afterward, these can be used to inspire your responses to the primary writing assignments, but poetastering exercises won't be graded or evaluated.  Consider them a from of pre-writing and invention. 

Poetry Writing Assignments

The evaluated writing assignments in this class are designed to challenge you to apply the skills and understanding of contemporary poetry you acquire during the course.  Along with the weekly poetastering exercises, these assignments will form the basis for the poetry you produce this semester and the portfolio of work you create by the end of it.

Frequency and Content

Each of the three poetry Assignment prompts given in the first half of the semester, Assignments 1, 2 and 3,  will offer several choices of response, and you will be asked  to choose two per assignment.  In completing all three assignments, then, you will have written a minimum of six separate poems.

Assignment 4 will be a more complex, two-part prompt that will be critiqued and discussed in two whole-class workshops during the second half of the semester.  Though the topics will differ from one student to the next, everyone will receive the same general writing task for this assignment, regardless of your place in the four-course sequence.  (Advanced students, however, may negotiate a more complex response to the assignment.)

A Final Project, which includes a revised portfolio of the semester's writing, will be introduced in Week 12 and will be due at the time of the Final Examination.

Drafts, Workshops, and Revisions

Because two poems will be written for each of the assignments, two workshops will be conducted for each as well.

Cold Reading Workshop

On the evening the first drafts are due, bring a total of five copies for each poem: one copy for the instructor; one copy to keep for yourself; and three copies for your small-group workshop peers.  Working in groups of four, you'll distribute the copies of your poems so that everyone has them, and you'll select one of the two poems to do a "cold reading" discussion on that same night.  This poem and your other poem not yet discussed will go home with your peers, who will prepare detailed written critiques of them.

Critical Workshop

Following the cold reading workshops, you'll have generally one week to put together in writing your thoughts on one another's poems and will bring these to the second workshop for an assignment--the "critical" workshop.  That evening, right after the workshop, your peers' critiques of both of your poems should be returned to you along with the drafts you gave them. Use these to guide you through the revision process. Revisions are due several after the critical workshop (see the schedule above) and should be submitted in a Manila folder with drafts that have written edits and comments on them, as well as the critiques received from your workshop peers.

Critiques

Each week in which a workshop is scheduled, you're expected to return the drafts of the poems to your peers, which should bear your editing marks, corrections, and impressions, written either in the margins or on the back of the page. However, completion of critiques also contributes to your course grade.*  Here are the critical requirements based on course level sequence:

  • Poetry Writing I, English 140: Critique sheets (blanks to be distributed with each assignment), one per poem, with short answers recommending suggestions and offering commentary. You may confine all of your answers to the critique sheet, or you can use the critique sheet to write your answers directly in the margins or back of the poem--as long as all the relevant topics on the critique sheet have been addressed.

  • Poetry Writing II, English 141: in additional to edits and comments written directly on the draft, you should compose a minimum one typed paragraph (double-spaced), per poem, with critical comments and suggestions for revision; you have the option of completing the critique sheets as well, but this will not be considered a substitution for the prose paragraph.

  • Poetry Writing III-IV, English 142-143: approximately one typed page (double-spaced, 1" margins) per poem, containing suggestions, comments, ideas for revision, and other helpful, well-intentioned input.

*If a peer has not submitted a critique to you, fear not: you won't be penalized for someone else's omission.  Simply indicate this when you submit your revisions in the Manila folder on the designated due dates.
Last Updated: 12/25/2017

Contact

Karl J. Sherlock
Associate Professor, English
Email: karl.sherlock@gcccd.edu
Office Hours: M-Th 4-5:30
Phone: 619-644-7871

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