Friday, January 19, 2007

Short List of Books I Loaned to Intermediate Poetry Workshop Students

It doesn't make sense to me to make a class full of poets read the same poem by the same poet at the same time. You have to hand somebody a poet at the right moment, when they need it. I lose a lot of books this way, but gain, I think, some good poems in return that may not have ever been written without discovering the right poem and poet at the right time. All of my intermediate poetry workshop students are required to read at least one book of poetry every two weeks. I not only recommend books, as do others in the workshop, I put books in their hands and they can take it with them and read it -- and return it. The books are their choice, including the ones I recommend. This is not a list of the best. It's a record of what was available at the time for one particular person at one moment in time. Each book was carefully chosen for each student, usually in groups of 2 or 3 at a time. I like thinking, for example, that whomever I loaned the copy of Carolyn Forche's The Country Between Us got the same copy of a book I lent out to Simone Muensch 15 years ago. This list is way incomplete as some I put back on my shelves in the office a while ago. There's about another 30 books and poets I didn't get back this year: Sikelianos, Dubiago, Saul Williams, Linda Hogan, more Harjo, Cisneros, all my Hass except for one, more Saner, Bob Kaufman, my copy of The Outlaw Bible, all of my Dugan, all my Kinnell, all my Hopkins, the rest of Gregg, the rest of Creeley ... this is getting sad. If this is you -- hey! Good time to get in touch. You can return my books (now with increased literary/historical value for the collection of my papers I'm gathering for Stanford) to me at CUB 226; English Department; University of Colorado; Boulder, CO 80309-0226. Mostly, I miss their faces -- and yours.

Books Lent Out to Intermediate Poetry Workshop students in 2006 (not counting the books I didn't get back):

Alexie, Sherman - The Summer of Black Widows

Baca, Jimmy Santiago - What's Happening
- Immigrants In Our Own Land & Selected Early Poems
- Black Mesa Poems
- Set This Book On Fire
- Martîn and Meditations on the South Valley
- C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans

Bishop, Elizabeth - Complete Poems

Broumas, Olga - Beginning With O

Carruth, Hayden - Shorter Poems

Cassells, Cyrus - Soul Make A Path Through Shouting
- Beautiful Signor

Catacalos, Rosemary - Again For the First Time

Creeley, Robert - A Quick Graph
- The Island
- The Gold Diggers and Other Stories

Crow, Mary - I Have Tasted the Apple

Cruz, Victor Hernandez - Snaps
- The Low Writing

H.D. - Selected
- Trilogy

Daniels, Jim - M-80

Dougherty, Sean - ?
- audio tape

Dickinson, Emily - Complete Poems

Erdrich, Louise - Baptism of Desire

Equi, Elaine - Decoy

Forche, Carolyn - The Country Between Us

Gander, Forrest - Deeds of the Utmost Kindness

Gillan, Maria Mazziotti - Where I Come From: Selected and New Poems

Ginsberg, Allen - Mind Breaths
- Kaddish and Other Poems
- Reality Sandwiches
- Planet News
- Howl and other Poems
- The Gates of Wrath
- Empty Mirror (Early Poems)
- The Fall of America

Goldbarth, Albert - Marriage and Other Science Fiction

Gregg, Linda - Chosen By the Lion

Harjo, Joy - The Woman Who Fell From the Sky

Hass, Robert - Field Guide

Hirshfield, Jane - Of Gravity and Angels
- The October Palace

Jeffers, Robinson - The Women of Point Sur & Other Poems
- The Double Axe
- Dear Judas
- Selected Poems

Levertov, Denise - The Poet In the World

Levine, Philip - Selected Poems

Martinez, Demetria - Breathing Between the Lines

McHugh, Heather - Dangerous
- Hinge and Sign

Miller, Jane - Memory at These Speeds

Olds, Sharon - The Unswept Room

Patchen, Kenneth - Love Poems
- Complete Poems

Piercy, Marge - Early Girl
- Mars and Her Children
- Available Light
- The Art of Blessing the Day
- Breaking Camp
- Living In the Open
- What Are Girls Made Of?

Pinsky, Robert - One Word
- Jersey Rain

Rich, Adrienne - Dark Fields of the Republic

Saner, Reg - So This Is the Map

Schneberg, Willa - In the Margins of the World

Simon, John Oliver - Lord of the Dawn

Sleigh, Tom - Waking

Swenson, Kay - Landlady of Bangkok

Wakoski, Diane - Dancing On the Grave of a Son of A Bitch
- Smudging

Waldman, Anne - Iovis
- That Roman Thing

Wright, Charles - ?

Wright, James - Two Citizens
- This Journey

Zweig, Paul - Eternity's Woods


Blogger Anne said...

Cathy Bowman did something similar in the class I took with her a few years ago (which was a semester-long poetry class mainly for MFA fiction students, but there were a few of us non-MFA folks there too). She assigned 3 books for the whole class to read and discus together -- one by a poet who visited during the semester -- and then every other week she brought in a big box of books, a traveling library, from which each of us got to select 3 (so we read 3 books every 2 weeks). We had to keep a journal with responses to what we read, and late in the semester each of us reported back to the class in some way; some of us just reported on two or three of the books we'd especially liked, some of us picked a theme or issue and pulled examples from a bunch of the books we'd read. She was happy to give recommendations, or we could just pick out whatever called to us that week. I got to read some good stuff that way.

19/1/07 15:25  
Blogger Lyle Daggett said...

Sharon Doubiago also did something similar in a week-long class I took with her a few years ago on Writing the Epic Poem. The pre-class reading assignment was to read one pre-20th century epic poem and one 20th or 21st century epic poem.

Doubiago herself told everyone that she planned to read the Iliad and H.D.'s Helen in Egypt. The epic poems each of us chose were completely our own choice. Several people read the Iliad and Helen in Egypt, following Doubiago's lead. One of the people read Nazim Hikmet's Human Landscapes of my Country and a book-length poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca (I can't remember now which one). I read the Popul Vuh and Neruda's Canto General.

Doubiago also brought a large number of books -- all of them epic poems -- into the class and left them scattered on the table we sat around during class, to borrow and read, or read from, during the week. (It was a small class, 7 people plus Doubiago.)

This is a great idea. Thanks for posting this.

22/1/07 20:39  

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