Assignments for Nov. 30

For those of you keeping close tabs on the syllabus (Andrew), you will notice that we have fallen behind and, with only two classes left, must make some adjustments. If only we had more time! We don’t. So here’s the deal:

We will be condensing our work looking at the prose poem and the video essay. I had hoped we could do a video essay project, but the new Macs did not arrive on time and we ran out of time. So instead, on Nov. 30 we will discuss assigned readings on the prose poem, generate a prose poem in an in-class exercise, and view video essays and discuss them. Here are the specifics:

For Nov. 30, read:

In The Next American Essay: “Foucault and Pencil” by Lydia Davis (p. 333) and “Sleep” by Brian Lennon (p. 427). Read also: “Prose Poem Essay on the Prose Poem” by Bob Hicok; “Ticking the Box” by Arielle Greenberg; “It’s Not in Cleveland, But I’m Getting Closer” by Tung-Hui Hu (handouts). Please consider both the essays themselves and, in the case of the latter three pieces, the prose poems included as examples.

Please read “On the Form of the Video Essay,” by Marilyn Freeman (TriQuarterly)

“On the Origin of the Video Essay,” by John Bresland (Blackbird)

Our goal in looking at the prose poem and the video essay is to consider how these forms relate to the lyric essay (or don’t) and what characteristics they may share or break from (or not!).

Coming Up:

December 7 is our last class meeting. You will be bringing a first draft of a prose poem to class. Although we will not have time for a full workshop, you will be meeting in small groups to read and discuss these drafts in accordance with thinking about both the prose poem as a type of lyric writing, as well as the other forms we’ve discussed this semester. Some of you will be bringing five copies (one for each group, one for me); some of you will be bringing six copies (one for each group; one for me). The exact breakdown/groups will be announced in class Nov. 30.

Final Portfolios:

We will discuss this at greater length on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, but your final portfolios will be due by 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14. All late work will have a 10 percent deduction for each day it is late, and no final work will be accepted after Dec. 16.

Portfolio components:

• first and revised drafts of flash nonfiction pieces

• first and revised drafts of received form/hermit-crab essays

• One essay, 700 to 1,000 words, which discusses the revisions made within the context of considering the lyric essay itself, both as a mode of writing and as a literary genre. You should consider the approaches you took as a writer, the choices you made in revision, as well as the larger questions raised about the genre that were discussed in our critical readings and other readings of published lyric essays this semester. To the degree necessary, this essay should use proper MLA citation (for published essays and critical references; not for your own work).

Format: If turning in hard copy, make sure all elements of the portfolio are properly labeled. For digital copies, please email to my SFUAD email address and attach each element as a separate document with a digital title that indicates what it is. If you email your final portfolios, I will email you back with confirmation of receipt. If you don’t hear from me, I did not receive it. Please only send from your SFUAD email address.

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