The origins of this assignment lie in my interest in introducing students to some of the tools for literary research. On a basic level, this has meant getting students into the library to familiarize them with resources in the Reference Room and to suggest some of the research possibilities in Special Collections. In essence, the assignment is geared toward exploring the literary dimensions of publishing venues that are more interesting and deliberate than the Norton Anthology of Poetry, our standard text. These dimensions include relations among a series of poems, “paratext” prefaces and notes, illustrations, the poetic possibilities opened by the size and shape of posters and postcards, and the audiences implied by the material object of the poem. My hope is that the assignment leads students to open doors into new bodies of poetry, new writers, new means of publication, and especially into a renewed appreciation for poetry and poetics. In practice, the assignment proved enjoyable and felt adventuresome, and many students wrote their best essays of the term.
-Stephanie Kuduk, Assistant Professor of English
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Burning Deck postcards: the first ten. Providence, R.I.: Burning Deck Press, 1979.
Dylan Thomas. “The Hand that Signed the Paper Felled a City” in 21 Etchings and poems. New York: Morris Gallery, 1960.
Accompanying student paper: Rachel Morris. “Essay 4.” View the full paper as a Word file.
Elizabeth Jennings. “The Child and the Seashell” in Poems in folio. San Francisco, 1957.
Accompanying student paper: David Laub. “Form Embodies Content.” View the full paper as a Word file.
Bob Cobbing. “grin…” in Concrete poetry: Britain, Canada, United States. [Stuttgart: Edition Hansjorg Mayer, 1966.]
Accompanying student paper: Ariana Mufson. “Concrete Poetry: An Artistic Universal Language.” View the full paper as a Word file.
James Laughlin. “Song.”
Accompanying student paper: Carmen V. Carrillo. “Song.” View the full paper as a Word file.