About this Course
4.7
752 ratings
272 reviews

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Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4-5 hours of lessons and assessments...

English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

MusicPoetry WritingArtCreativity

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4-5 hours of lessons and assessments...

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
1 hour to complete

Introduction and the Poetic Line

Poetry orchestrates its music, arguments, tensions, and environment via arrangements of language into lines and stanzas. This week we’ll address the importance of the line break, perhaps the most conspicuous, signature tool in the poet’s toolkit. Do you break more for sound, for sense, visual effect, shape, a mix of several? We’ll participate in several line break exercises and remix found poems. Also: prepare for your first quiz and a fun first writing prompt. ...
8 videos (Total 20 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
8 videos
The Workshop Process3m
Workshopping in a MOOC, part 11m
The Starting Line4m
Rack ‘em Up: Gwendolyn Brooks' We Real Cool1m
We/Read Close. We/Take note. 4m
Game Over1m
Poetry Prompt 1: Line2m
4 readings
Syllabus5m
Workshopping in a MOOC, part 28m
Course Resources3m
Week 1 Summary8m
1 practice exercise
On the Line10m
Week
2
1 hour to complete

Abstraction and Image

Abstraction doesn’t mean “deep,” and image doesn’t mean “picture.” Images are typically understood as anything you can literally touch/taste/see/hear/smell, and abstractions are those things for which we have symbols (a clock for “time,” a heart for “love”) but no image. Abstractions and images may fill our poems, but how can you tell what’s what, and how can you leverage them to compelling ends? This week we’ll work at finding new symbols to replace clichéd ones for abstractions and we’ll work at crafting images that do more than add furniture to a poem, but create systems of relationships, moods, and even style. ...
5 videos (Total 14 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
5 videos
Beauty’s in the Eye of the Bewildered: Harryette Mullen's [if your complexion is a mess.]1m
The Wonky Chocolate Factory4m
Read in the Shade2m
Poetry Prompt 2: Abstraction & Image2m
1 reading
Week 2 Summary8m
1 practice exercise
Abstraction & Image10m
Week
3
3 hours to complete

Metaphor and Other Formulas of Difference

Most of us think of simile and metaphor, personification and other similar figures of speech as being about similarities between objects, concepts, and entities. But the juice in these formulas comes from how different the two things being compared seem to be. This is why writing: “the shark moved like a fish” is, alone, a lot less interesting than saying “the shark moved like a squad car.” We’ll talk about how playing with difference via juxtaposition can create a range of poetic effects. Then you’ll write a poem built of one robustly developed or several contrasting juxtapositions. We'll end this module with yet another quiz, and our first poetry workshop -- facilitated through a peer assessed assignment....
5 videos (Total 18 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Home Cooking: Victor Hernández Cruz's Red Beans1m
Lilies and Lava 4m
After Dinner Meant1m
Poetry Prompt 3: Metaphor2m
1 reading
Week 3 Summary8m
1 practice exercise
Metaphor10m
Week
4
1 hour to complete

Rhyme

This week we’ll explore how rhyme leverages patterns of sameness and how we can estrange similarity for compelling poetic effects. We’ll check out examples of “rhyme”—sonic, visual, conceptual—from outside of poetry too. ...
5 videos (Total 14 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
5 videos
There’s No “A” in Showdown: Cathy Park Hong's Ballad in A1m
Lipo-what?!5m
What That Was2m
Poetry Prompt 4: Rhyme1m
1 reading
Week 4 Summary8m
1 practice exercise
Rhyme10m
Week
5
3 hours to complete

Rhythm

All spoken language has rhythm, the trick is working the rhythm in such a way that drives your poem toward the effects you’re after. Maybe you want a fluid, seductive, propulsive rhythm. Perhaps something that halts or stutters. We’ll use traditional western concepts of meter as a means to open the door to this discussion, but we may leave them at the door upon entry. ...
6 videos (Total 21 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
6 videos
Rock “The Bells”: Edgar Allan Poe's The Bells1m
Put A Ring On It4m
For Whom the Bell Falls4m
Clap Clap Clap54s
Poetry Prompt 5: Rhythm2m
1 reading
Week 5 Summary8m
1 practice exercise
Rhythm10m
Week
6
3 hours to complete

Sharpened Poetry: Revision Strategies

When you revise a poem, you are not trying to dull the emotional flash of your first draft. You must, instead, intensify it. In this, our final week, we’ll discuss the difference between revision and editing, the art of reading your own work critically, and the beauty of drafts. For your final peer review, you’ll turn in (and in turn, assess) a revision of one of the poems from the preceding 5 modules....
11 videos (Total 26 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
11 videos
What is Revision?3m
Where Do I Start Revising?2m
How Do I Start Revising a Poem I’ve Written in Form?3m
How do I Incorporate Workshop Feedback Into the Revision Process?4m
Revision Recap41s
Give Yourself A Break1m
Furniture and Figures2m
Just in the Nick of Rhyme2m
Rhythm-a-Ning-a-Gain3m
Final Thoughts1m
1 reading
Course Credits8m
4.7
272 ReviewsChevron Right

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started a new career after completing these courses

44%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By ARNov 2nd 2015

I have learned so much and I love D's energy and the avid participation of the other students. Will definitely pass on what I've learned. Can't wait for more courses like this in the future! :)

By JKAug 22nd 2016

Wonderful, learning about writing poetry here is IT! I will always use this to go forward and once in a while come back to freshen up. Thank you, there's nothing else out there like this class!

Instructor

Avatar

Douglas Kearney

Assistant Professor
Program in Creative Writing, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

About California Institute of the Arts

CalArts has earned an international reputation as the leading college of the visual and performing arts in the United States. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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