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ENGL 522 (FA11)

Professor Janet Holmes
G117 – 426-3134
office hours: call for appointment

ENGL522: MFA Poetry Workshop

Wednesdays, 6–9 pm, August 25–December 8, 2011
Business Building Room 302

Book List:

Rae Armantrout, Money Shot
Inger Christensen, it
Thalia Field, Bird Lovers, Backyard
Fanny Howe, Come and See
Jennifer Moxley, Clampdown
Urayoán Noel, Hi-Density Politics
Jena Osman, The Network
Michael Palmer, Thread


Each week we will discuss a book on the book list for the first hour and a half of class. One student will be assigned to present a critical reading of a poem or some poems from the book; another student will be assigned to prepare a response. (The two students should work together so the second one will know what she’s responding to.) Three of the poets whose books we read will be in the MFA Reading Series, and we will prepare questions to ask at their readings.

The second hour and a half of class will be spent in workshop. Students should come prepared to discuss their peers’ work with suggested additional readings (critical theory, other poetry, prose) and/or other media (blogs, songs, movies) that might bring a new perspective to the author regarding the work, in addition to critique. No ridicule, malice, or competitive aggression will be tolerated in workshop.

Academic Integrity. Familiarize yourself with Boise State’s Student Code of Conduct; it is available at I expect you to do your own work in this course, with the realization that the consequences of plagiarism are, at the very least, failure in the plagiarized assignment and, at the most dire, expulsion from the University. And really—if you’re in an upper-level poetry workshop and not writing your own poems, the only person you’re shortchanging is yourself.

Office of Disability Services. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is responsible for ensuring that Boise State University maintains an educationally and physically open, accessible environment for students with disabilities. If you have needs that are not being met in the classroom or need assistive technology, please contact the DRC. Their website is


8/24 Introduction

8/31 Hi-Density Politics

9/7 Thread

9/9 Michael Palmer reading

9/14 it

9/21 it

9/28 Come and See

10/5 Come and See

10/7 Fanny Howe reading

10/12 Clampdown

10/19 Clampdown

10/21 Steve Evans and Jennifer Moxley reading

10/26 Bird Lovers, Backyard

11/2 Bird Lovers, Backyard

11/9 The Network

11/16 The Network

11/30 Money Shot

12/7 reading