English 11 – Nov. 25 – Dec. 13

Student-Selected Poetry Unit

PERIOD 2 (all poems here) PERIOD 4 (all poems here)

Thursday, 1 December

George Bowering: His Life: A Poem, p. 66, 79, 82.(Johan, Lynden, & Matthew)Two groups are have selected George Bowering books. Who is he? Who is the “His” in “His Life”?This class: Lynden, Matthew and Johan led us through the poems they selected from George Bowering’s book, His Life. They asked us to write short poems using a line from one of the poems we read today.Lisa Robertson: Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip, p. 69-72.
(Cecilia, Sheyla, & Trixie)

Where does Robertson get her words from?

How does she explain this book? Anything intelligible?

What is the “Kootenay School of Writing”?

Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven and Other Poems, p. 15, 24-25, 44.(Carrie, Janice, Nevena, & Yuan Qin)

How do these poems reflect Poe’s “Philosophy of Composition”? In what ways are these poems similar, formally speaking, to “The Raven”?

Do they also feature a heavy use of sound devices such as metrical patterns, rhyme, and symbolism? 

What does “gothic” mean when it is referring to literature?

What does “Symbolism” mean when it refers to a genre?

Donato Mancini: Æthel, “Jonathan Livingston Boa Constrictor”, “Pope? Nope.”, “Can Dialectics Break Bricks, Smash Hands?”
(Cairo, Rachel, & Sarah)

What is visual poetry?

What is the different between visual poetry and visual art?

What are the poetics of visual poetry?

What do the other poems in this book look like?

Other work by Donato can be found online here!

Cairo, Rachel and Sarah, led the class discussion and had us create some visual poetry of our own based on the alphabet and different typefaces see the results here.

Monday, 5 December

Bert Almon, Waiting For the Gulf Stream, p. 15, 41, 49.
(Larissa, Laura, & Manpreet)Is “teenagers” an ageist word? jkHere is the poem assignmentcreated by the group.George Stanley: Vancouver: A Poem, p. 30, 31, 77. (Brandon, Colin, Thomas, & Zach)How many allusions to Vancouver are there in these poems? 

Wow! This whole book is freely available in pdf from the publisher, New Star Books! Nice! But why are they giving their product away? Ooh, they’ve got a Peter Culley pdf up, too!

Here is the group’s Vancouver poetry assignment.

Sharon Creech: Love that Dog, p. 91, 97, 98-99.(Astrid, Irene, Marissa, & Seymond)Why do these poems appear at the end of Sharon Creech’s book? What relation do they have to her writing? Did she have to pay someone to include them?Shannon Creech Writing Prompt

Event Magazine 40.2: p. 80, 81, 83.

(Eric, Jian Qiao, & Wanja)

Who is the poetry editor and what does her editorial mandate seem to be?

Here is the assignment the group made, based on “Want You”

Wednesday, 7 December

Robert Lowell: Selected Poems, p. 12, 82, 113. (Adrian, Alan, Brendon, & Gigi)What is “confessional poetry”? What other popular poets get grouped under that category?Poetry prompt for Lowell.Joanne Arnott: Mother Time, p. 28, 79, 86.
(Amanda, Bebrenly, Evelyn, & Sarah)

What is the “Aboriginal Writer’s Collective”?

Joanne Arnott Presentation

Poetry prompt for Arnott.

Gary Geddes: Skaldance, p. 57-58, 59-62.
(Kalvin, Matin, Ramin, & Ramnik)
Poetry Is Dead: The TV, Beer, and Video Games Issue, p. 19, 25, 26.(Alice, Amy, & Debbie)

Does poetry have to ruin video games now? jk

Here is the writing prompt the group made: “Addictions

Friday, 9 December

Shane Rhodes: Err, p. 11, 23, 45-46. (Daniel, Felix, & Vincent)There are some heavy issues being discussed with heavy language and imagery here. How should we handle this as a class?Hook ImageErr Writing Prompt

George Bowering: Seventy-One Poems for the People, p. 98, 108, 120.


(Akzhan, Amy, Ryan, & Martin)

For “the People”? Is that communist?Two groups are have selected George Bowering books. Who is he?

Bowering Presentation

Bowering Writing Prompt

Fred Wah: Diamond Grill, p. (Nick, Marcus, Pheby, & Vivien)Is this poetry? short fiction? a novel? What do people call this and why?Ellen Hopkins: Crank, p. 169-170, 180-181, 207.(Courtney, Devon, Katryna, & Keir)What other popular books are novels in verse like this? What is the difference between this genre and the genre of the book-length poem?What is the best way to talk about the thematic issues of these poems in class?How important is the visual layout to these poems?

Shannon Creech Writing Prompt

This class: On the 25th we selected our poetry for our student-led lessons (a.k.a. presentations) assignment. On the 29th we worked in groups on our presentation plans.

Homework: Start reading the poetry selected by the other groups (links above) and anyone feel free to look into any of my leading questions. Also, if you’d like to, help to fill out this chart so we can get a quick superficial glance at our poets and books.