Fall 2019

The Body in Peril—An Exploration of Tragedy through Poetic Form

Listed in: English, as ENGL-448


Shayla I. Lawson (Section 01)


Writing is the landscape through which poets explore the human body. The fluidity of a text often mirrors our relationship to memory–the recollection of the sensory discovering harmony with the fluidity of a poem’s language and syntax. But what happens when a disruption in one’s fundamental experience of being alters the ways in which we experience the world?

In spaces of distress, poetry often makes courageous leaps in formal reinvention. As opposed to dwelling heavily on the subject of physical disruption, this course will examine ways contemporary writers have discovered, or reimagined, prosody as a way to explore the human experience through vulnerability and authenticity. The course will include close-readings of four to six collections of poetry, some creative writing, and discussions on mindfulness practices–all culminating in a critical/personal essay exploring a selected poem of your choice.

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Writer-in-Residence Lawson.

If Overenrolled: In the English Department, the required 400-level seminars will give preference to junior and senior majors.


Artistic Practice, Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019