Fall 2005 Courses

Narrative Design
David Plante
Wednesdays 10:30-12:30
407 Dodge Hall

This seminar will consist of a rigorous inspection of a series of stories, sometimes sentence by sentence, focusing on the constitutive elements of fiction (plot, character, tone, flashback, suspense, dialogue, point-of-view, imagery, design, and theme). We will begin by concentrating broadly on the components, with mention of eminent examples that effectively subvert what we ordinarily expect from those components. This will be followed by textually-grounded studies of one or two stories per week (beginning with Anton Chekhov's "Lady With a Lapdog"). The readings will cover a broad range of styles, and will be drawn from various periods and cultures. Before the term begins, students in the class will be given the opportunity to suggest stories to be discussed.

The goal of this class is two-fold: 1) to examine how various writers have used techniques and approaches in specific stories, and 2) to derive from these examples an evolving menu of technical options that inform (without dictating) how students write.

Writer as Teacher
Alan Ziegler
Mondays 2-4
413 Dodge Hall

The Writer as Teacher addresses the pedagogical and editorial skills utilized in eliciting and responding to creative writing, including: creating and presenting writing assignments; designing workshops; and presiding over group critiques and individual conferences. We will discuss the teaching of creative writing at all levels (primary and secondary schools, undergraduate and graduate programs, and community workshops). Generally, the first hour of class will be devoted to seminar discussions; during the second hour we will replicate classroom situations in small groups and in-class presentations, and there will be visits from exemplary practitioners of the art and craft of teaching. This class will be limited to between 15 and 18 students. Several short, practical papers.

Gorgeous Mosaics: Unified Collections of Fiction & Poetry
Nicholas Christopher
Thursdays 11-1
413 Dodge Hall

We will examine assorted volumes of interconnected stories, book-length sequences of poems and prose-poems, and a pair of nonlinear novels constructed in collage fashion. The complex tension in such collections between the discrete, often eclectic, elements - whether stories, poems, or sections - and the unified whole make them a potent form that rivals the conventional novel or long poem in imaginative resonance. By virtue of their verve and uniqueness, these books have become bellwethers in their particular genres. The reading list is international, and thematically varied.

  • The Street of Crocodiles - Bruno Schulz
  • Coming Through Slaughter - Michael Ondaatje
  • Jesus' Son - Denis Johnson
  • The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
  • The Golden Apples - Eudora Welty
  • Mr. Cogito - Zbigniew Herbert
  • Parentheses - Yannis Ritsos
  • A Universal History of Infamy - Jorge Luis Borges
  • Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
  • Oriental Tales - Marguerite Yourcenar
  • In Our Time - Ernest Hemingway
  • Xenia I & II & Satura I & II - Eugenio Montale
  • Red Cavalry - Isaac Babel
  • The World Doesn't End - Charles Simic
Advanced Research Seminar
Patricia O'Toole
Wednesdays 10:30-12:30
409 Dodge Hall

For students who have completed the introductory research seminar (or who can demonstrate that they have equivalent research experience) and are writing theses requiring substantial research. The seminar is designed to accelerate research on works in progress and to familiarize students with methods of inquiry applicable to a wide range of subjects.

The seminar will run in three-week cycles. Each student will draw up a research plan for each cycle, demonstrate that the plan has been carried out, and present research problems for solution by the group.

Over the course of the semester, three or four visiting writers will meet with the group to discuss their research challenges, sources and approaches used, solutions devised, and esthetic approaches to integrating exposition and narrative. In preparation for the visits, students will read the work to be discussed.

Prerequisite for registration: permission of the instructor. Please phone Patricia O'Toole at (212) 861-5623.

First Novels
Maureen Howard
Mondays 11-1
413 Dodge Hall

This course will look at the work of writers who searched for solutions to the extended narrative form in their first novels. In some cases, Graham Greene and Vladimir Nabokov, the apparatus of detective fiction worked to convey stories with more depth than the genre usually affords. Both writers continued to use the devices that first sustained them while enlarging their themes in novels of rewarding complexity. Observing the early work may be helpful to the student attempting a first novel or shaping stories into a coherent collection. While it's dispiriting to note that it took Virginia Woolf nine years to complete The Voyage Out, it is equally encouraging to look at her growing fluency in writing reviews and essays which gave her voice an independence that sustained her career. To go back to Dickens who all of the writers above went back to for sustenance, it may be of interest to students who are writing short fiction to observe how the great best seller sold his audience on the fast pacing of incident in the comic picaresque in The Pickwick Papers and moved on to the late novels rich with passages of meditation.

We will read contemporary writers: J.M. Cotzee (from the academic first novella to the academic narrator of Elizabeth Costello); E.L. Doctorow; Louise Erdrich.

Note: Students will, of course, bring the problems they may be having with narrative structure up for discussion in class and in conferences. I will trim the reading list so that it is manageable for students to get to their writing.

The End
Paul LaFarge
Mondays 2-4
409 Dodge Hall

How do you end a short story? What makes the end of a novel good, or disappointing? In this seminar we'll consider the construction and the significance of different kinds of endings: happy and tragic, open and closed, surprising and inexorable. We'll also discuss fictions that seem to have trouble ending: stories that break off midway, novels that could go on forever, non-linear fictions, etc. We'll talk about the meaning of the ending, and what relation the end of a story bears to the end of a life, or to the end of the world. Readings will include works by Balzac, Barth, Cortázar, Crace, Kafka, David Markson, Melville, Poe, Pynchon, Françoise Sagan, and Nathanaël West.

Brenda Wineapple
Mondays 2-4
411 Dodge Hall

A course that explores the parameters of nonfiction prose by examining the work of those writers-- particularly but not exclusively known as poets or novelists-- who extend its boundaries, demanding us to ask what we as writers and we as readers expect of nonfiction: Certitude? Verifiability? "Realism"? Authenticity? Topicality? How do we define nonfiction: in terms of subject matter; of technique and prose style; or in terms of subgenres (travel writing, autobiography, political treatise, meditation, personal essay)? When does nonfiction become journalism? When does it become fiction? And which techniques--borrowed from fiction and poetry-- best suit it?

Works considered will include:

  • Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre
  • Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
  • Philip Roth, The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography
  • Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights
  • Sybille Bedford, A Visit to Don Otavio
  • William Gass, Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation
  • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
  • Sigmund Freud, Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Haruki Murakami, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche
  • Adam Zagajewski, Two Cities: On Exile, History, and the Imagination
Personal Essay
Phillip Lopate
Tuesdays 6-8
411 Dodge Hall

The personal essay form in all its formal and topical variety (memoir piece, rumination, humor, diatribe, nature writing, manners, politics, psychology, film criticism, lyrical essay, experimental collage) will be studied in this course. Readings will emphasize the masters of the historical tradition (such as Montaigne, Hazlitt, Lamb, Woolf, Orwell, Baldwin) as well as contemporary practioners (Didion, Hoagland, Sedaris, Epstein, Gass, Dillard, Rodriguez, Lethem). Students will be expected to try their hands at the personal essay, by writing three papers over the course of the term. Half the class will be taken up with discussions of the assigned readings, and half with workshopping the students' own essays. Considerable attention will be paid to the techniques by which one establishes a personal, confiding, trustworthy and engaging voice on the page, and opens out the essay's structure from its initial premise.

The Practice of Poetry
Lucie Brock-Broido
Mondays 4:30-7
413 Dodge Hall

This is a course designed for all first-year poets coming into the Writing Division. Each week we'll focus on a particular device, form, aspect, metaphysic, genre of poetry. We'll begin with The Line. The Stanza. The Poem. Then more: The Leap (Bly), The Trigger (Hugo), The Pigeon's Claw (Neruda). We'll spend weeks on: The Lyric I, Objectives Correlatives, Closures and Invocations, "Feral" Poetry, The All Hallowed, The Numinous. We'll end with several weeks of refabrication of the American Sonnet as the fierce embrace, the marriage between hysteria and haiku.

Assignments each week. 98% Wizardry, 2% Workshop. That is to say, though much of the focus of the seminar will be on your own response to the assignments, an exercise (poem-in-the-making) every week, the majority of our time will be spent on discussing the macro, not the micro, as each of you will have--separately but equally--a Workshop of your own outside this class.

The text will be great hunk of fascicled xeroxes, an anthology I've been concocting over the past ten years. The book will be available for you to buy on the first day of class.

And for that first class: bring 20 xeroxed copies of a Poem as Self-Portrait (by way of introducing yourself to the seminar and to your comrades for the next two years).

ALL first-year poets are required to register for this course, but may take an additional seminar if they wish.

Lost for Words: Writing and Dysfunction
Claire Harman
Tuesdays 11-1
411 Dodge Hall

The blank page remains the greatest fear of writers, both novice and professional. This class will consider the psychology of creative dysfunction, commonly known as "writer's block." We will discuss the problem of "self-appointment" and the anxiety of influence, also the significance of material, physical, and social pressures on writers (particularly in matters of race, gender and class). Using case studies of such authors as Coleridge, Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tillie Olsen, Ralph Ellison, and Herbert Roth, we will examine how various writers have responded to blockage and how it contributes to popular concepts of authorship. Students will be given reading assignments and be expected to participate fully in class discussions and present two or three short, written responses.

Avant-gardes, and Then Some: 20th-Century Experimental Poetry
Marjorie Welish
Wednesdays 10:30-12:30
413 Dodge Hall

This seminar will focus on poetry that seeks to revolutionize the word, the phrase and the sentence. Imagism, Vorticism, Russian Formalism, Objectivism and its legacy in the provocatively-named Language School will provide the core study, with meaningful side trips to the New York School and other relevant poetry. Emphasis on poetics will guide our understanding of the cultural strategies that would mandate formal invention.

Readings to be studied will include some of the works below:

  • Ezra Pound, Cantos: Cantos XIII and XIV
  • Gertrude Stein, Motor Automatism, Idem the Same: A Valentine for Sherwood Anderson from Tender Buttons
  • Vladimir Mayakovsky, from Selected Poems
  • William Carlos Williams, from Spring and All
  • Louis Zukofsky, from All
  • Lorine Niedecker, from New Goose, "Darwin"
  • Frank O'Hara "Second Avenue" and "Mayakovsky"
  • Emmanuel Hocquard, This Story is Mine
  • Lyn Hejinian, from Oxota
  • Barrett Watten, Conduit
Family Matters
Lis Harris
Tuesdays 11-1
409 Dodge Hall

An exploration of a wide spectrum of literary approaches to writing about the people who gave you life and then made it glorious or a living hell -- and about those who huddled alongside in the primal pack. The course will closely examine some of the aesthetic, ethical and research issues that arise from writing about family as well as the novelistic, meditative and lyric strategies that can expand this subject's breadth and depth. Authors--of nonfiction and fiction--whose work we will read include:

  • Mary McCarthy (Memories of a Catholic Girlhood)
  • Jean Renoir (Renoir, My Father--excerpts)
  • Philip Roth (Patrimony)
  • William Maxwell (So Long, See You Tomorrow)
  • Sybille Bedford (A Legacy), Frank Conroy (Stop Time)
  • Geoffrey Wolff (The Duke of Deception)
  • Paula Fox (Borrowed Finery)
  • Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina)
  • Michael Ondaatje (Running In the Family)
  • Ian Frazier (Family)
  • Eric Liu (The Accidental Asian--excerpt)
  • Dorothy Gallagher (How I Came Into My Inheritance)
David Ebershoff

At its most basic level, suspense is the force in literature that makes the reader want to turn the page. Without it, a novel is leaden and, ultimately, unread. If it's mishandled or overused, a book becomes implausible and hollow. The class will read six classic and six more recent suspenseful novels. Some rely on the tropes of suspense (a murder, a detective, a missing treasure), while others build suspense through the raw power of imagination and storytelling. We'll focus on how the authors create and maintain suspense, deconstructing the best narrative techniques to hook and hold the reader's attention. Part of the conversation will be about genre and how a writer can both employ and abandon the rules of a genre in order to surpass it. The goal of the class is to examine the role of suspense in literature and how a writer can use it to create powerful, lasting art.

  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)
  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
  • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (1898)
  • The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (1907)
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet (1929)
  • Double Indemnity by James M. Cain (1934)
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)
  • The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing (1989)
  • Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
  • Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (1999)
  • Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (2001)
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004)
Don Quixote
Edith Grossman
Mondays 11-1
411 Dodge Hall

2005 is the 400th Anniversary of the publication of part one of Don Quixote, and therefore a particularly appropriate time to approach Cervantes' masterpiece. It is considered the 1st modern European novel, and it certainly one of the most important works of fiction ever written. We will read both parts of Don Quixote, at a rate of approximately 100 pages a week, discussing both narrative techniques and the cultural, historical, and literary background of the book.

Creating the Modern Critical Essay
Michael Janeway
Wednesdays 10:30-12:30
411 Dodge Hall

Modern criticism was shaped, and is still influenced, by writers and artists working as journalists and essayists in the years of cultural earthquake from the Victorian era to the dawn of Modernism. They include Mathew Arnold, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Henry Adams, H. L. Mencken, Virginia Woolf, Walter Lippmann, and the young Edmund Wilson.

Some, such as Arnold, Wilde and Mencken, were poised between a celebration of the classics and a recognition of the future. Others, such as Shaw, Adams, Woolf and Wilson, were more clearly heralds of change. They brought news of artistic and cultural shift to a public unready for the revolutions in the sciences (including the study of the mind), technology, philosophy, and the nature and meaning of war, that marked the culture of modernity in the first decades of the 20th Century. Those who were themselves poets, playwrights, novelists (Wilde, Shaw, Twain, Woolf) were experimenting at once in new forms as artists and as critics.

Much can be learned in our own cultural context by exploring how these writers sought - and sometimes fought - to interpret the early stages of modernity in journalistic and essay form. This course examines ways that beginning writers can learn the techniques of the critical arts by studying their origins.

Assignments: two 1000-word exercises, one 1500-word paper, one 2000-word paper. The final paper will ask students to undertake independent reporting or research.

NOTE: Students who wish to apply for one of the 9 Writing Division places in this 18- student interdepartmental course offered jointly in Journalism and the School of the Arts Writing Division should submit a one-page sample of their critical writing to Professor Janeway by emailing it to Anna at amd75@columbia.edu.

The Poet as Critic
Timothy Donnelly
Thursdays 2-5
409 Dodge Hall

Poets throughout the ages (Horace, Dante, Wordsworth, to name a few) have provided many of our most trenchant and authoritative assessments of the nature, aesthetic value, and social role of poetry. If the 19th century saw an acceleration in this trend, the 20th witnessed it explode as new and challenging ways of writing demanded explanation and apology. This course will survey the poetry and critical prose (essays, reviews, manifestoes, interviews, letters) of a dozen modern and contemporary poets, examining both the consonance between the authors' commentary on the art and their actual practice of it as well as the socio-political contexts in which such commentary and poetry is made. If we agree that "real" criticism requires "an almost inhuman disinterestedness," as Randall Jarrell claims in "The Age of Criticism," do we think it is reasonable to expect this of a poet? If it is inevitable that the poet as critic will bring not only special insight but also vested interest to his or her study, what are the ramifications of this? Of particular interest will be the efforts made by some poet-critics to situate their thinking about poetry not (or not merely) atop Mount Parnassus but in the specificity of their historical moment.

The reading list will include work by T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Hart Crane, Yvor Winters, Robert Hayden, Randall Jarrell, Robert Duncan, John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, Robert Pinsky, Lyn Hejinian, and others.

Written assignments will consist of a 1500-word statement of poetics and a 2000-word review of a recent book of poetry.

The Writer in History, History in the Writer
Benjamin Taylor
Thursdays 6-8
411 Dodge Hall

Gibbon calls history a "register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind." Faced with the enormities of the past hundred years -- colonial dominations, world wars, totalitarian ideologies, ethnic and racial exterminations -- many of our most compelling writers have taken these, the characteristic crimes, follies and misfortunes of twentieth-century life, for their subject matter. In this course we study memoirs and novels which, by seeking to understand what history has wrought, seek also to divest history of its omnipotence. Our premise, in other words, is that a work of art is a piece of counter-history, a way of answering back.

The approach will be writerly, with particular attention paid to the craft of memoir, the craft of fiction - character, point of view, plot, setting, style, issues of memory versus invention, etc. Students are asked to read two not-very-long novels in preparation, one Indian in setting, the other Italian: J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard. Ideal for summer. Additional readings include:

  • The Fox in the Attic (Richard Hughes)
  • Homage to Catalonia (George Orwell)
  • Hope Against Hope (Nadezhda Mandelstam), excerpts
  • The Things We Used to Say (Natalia Ginzburg), excerpts
  • The Reawakening (Primo Levi), excerpts
  • The Quiet American (Graham Greene)
  • The Enigma of Arrival (V. S. Naipaul)
Translation Seminar
Rika Lesser
Thursday 11-1
411 Dodge Hall

No one looks at each and every written word the way translators do. Many read world literature without giving a thought to the fact that they are reading works in translation - long the American commercial preference. This course aims to make you more careful, more self-conscious, more revisionary writers of original texts, and closer, more mindful readers.

We will look at the works of a wide range of English-language translators, at how they affect our notion of the world and literature. We will consider how fast language changes - and whether we can freeze it. We will experience the different modes of translation that Dryden termed (and no one has named better) metaphrase, paraphrase, and imitation. Translation's eternal questions will pose themselves: Does one remain "faithful" to the word or the spirit? How is translating the dead (or the classics) different from translating the living (our contemporaries)? Is there a "timeless" diction, a timeless voice? How does one capture the "tone" of the original work? Should one translate a received form only with that same received form?

More specifically: In class we will examine and discuss multiple translations of multiple texts from multiple genres - prose (usually fiction, e.g. Kafka, Lagerkvist), poetry (usually verse, e.g. Leopardi, Rilke, Tranströmer), plays (for the stage and for the page, prose as well as verse, e.g., Sophocles, Strindberg), as well as the special problems presented by songs and libretti, epic and oral literature. We will examine texts from different times and regions, including work from at least one non-Indo-European language (e.g., Finnish, Chinese). Essays by such illustrious author/translators as W. H. Auden, Guy Daniels, Richard Howard, Suzanne Jill Levine, Vladimir Nabokov, William Weaver will be assigned, as appropriate. Some notice will be taken of theory, but far more attention will be paid to practice.

Proficiency in another language besides English is not required, except for students pursuing translation projects. (You need not be bilingual or even fluent in a second language to pursue a translation project.) Everyone will complete one or two written exercises. Those not working on translation projects will write brief papers comparing multiple translations of a text of their own choosing. Translation projects may consist of a passage of literary prose, a few poems, a song or part of a libretto for performance, or a scene from a play (for the stage or the page). As the term proceeds, these works in progress will be presented for discussion in class.

Readings will include:

  • The Poetics of Translation: History, Theory, Practice by Willis Barnstone, Yale, 1993.
  • The Craft of Translation, edited by John Biguenet and Rainer Schulte [essays] Chicago, 1989.
  • The Satyricon of Petronius, William Arrowsmith, trans. NAL: Dutton. 1960 / Plume 1990.
  • Imitations, Robert Lowell, Noonday 1960/ FSG 1990.
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Stanley Corngold, trans. Bantam, 1987.
  • Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei by Eliot Weinberger & Octavio Paz, Moyer Bell, 1987
  • Photocopies of essays by Roman Jakobson, D. S. Carne-Ross and others from various collections, many of which are out of print.
Fiction Master Class
Master Class
Mondays 2-4
407 Dodge Hall
The Hispanic Essay
Ilan Stavans
September 12, 19, 26, October 3

This section will be a revealing tour through the multifaceted tradition of the Hispanic essay. The approach to the essay will be flexible: diaries, letters, reportage, political communiques. From the Spanish speaking world we will read in translation Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Martí, Rubén Dario, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Octavio Paz, Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Mario Vargas Llosa. In the English-language counterpart of the class, we will read William Carlos Williams, Arthur A. Schomburg, Richard Rodríguez and Gloria Anzaldúa.

Han Ong
October 10, 17, 24, 31

The world is becoming more and more familiar to everyone. It is in this context that i would like to talk about the voice of the "outsider," someone who comes in and makes us see things anew or askew, someone who redefines what we have taken for granted. the "outsider" is an immigrant - of any variety, removed from the gang or the group who holds the center of any culture. i am less interested in the political or social function of this classic literary type -- in the uses of such characters for social agitation or cultural comment, for example -- and more interested in their capacity for and mandate of original thinking.

Hilton Als
November 14, 21, 28, December 5, 12

In this section, we will discuss "queer" sensibilities at work in non-fiction. We'll look at examples of gay twinning--or mirroring--in works by a gay critic, poet, and two gay novelists. in each of the following books, the issue of the author's "I" is disrupted--or reflected--in the relationships written about, which center on coupling and how to make a family in queerness. Of course, some of the books listed address this point explicitly, but many don't, and it is the objective of the class to uncover the ways in which queer family-ing can be written about in the context of "truth."

  • Truman Capote: "In Cold Blood" (I would like to spend the first two sessions on this because it is a relatively long book)
  • James Baldwin: "The Evidence of Things Not Seen"
  • Craig Seligman: "Sontag and Kael: Opposites Attract Me."
  • W.H. Auden, "Letter from Iceland"
Richard Howard
Tuesdays 11-1
413 Dodge Hall

A discussion of a range of literary works empowered by an unremitting unity of theme (subject) and by intransigent formal energies (treatment) which fulfill a persistent character

  • September 6 - poems of Emily Dickinson
  • September 13 - Sophocles Oedipus Rex
  • September 20 - Shakespeare Macbeth
  • September 27 - Pope Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, Smart Rejoice in the Lamb
  • October 4 - Hogg Confessions of a Justified Sinner
  • October 11 - Gogol The Nose, Dostoievsky The Gambler, Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilyich
  • October 18 - Hawthorne Wakefield, Poe The Raven, Melville Bartleby the Scrivener
  • October 25 - Strindberg The Father
  • November 1 - Pirandello Right You Are (If You Think You Are), Yeats Purgatory
  • November 15 - Kafka In the Penal Colony, The Burrow
  • November 22 - Robbe-Grillet Jealousy, Barthelme The Dead Father
  • November 29 - Beckett The Unnameable, Not I
Twentieth-Century Literary Nonfiction
Richard Locke
Thursdays 2-4
413 Dodge Hall

This class is a survey of criticism, reportage, polemics, memoirs, and meditations from the 1920's to the present that explores the variety and flexibility of nonfiction styles and genres. The works we will consider will include:

  • selections from The Edmund Wilson Reader
  • Virginia Woolf's The Common Reader: First Series
  • George Orwell's A Selection of Essays and Homage to Catalonia
  • Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz
  • Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory
  • selections from Essays by E.B. White and Joseph Mitchell's Up in the Old Hotel
  • selections from Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem and After Henry
  • selections from Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
  • W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn
Poets on Poets
Alice Quinn
Wednesdays 6-8
413 Dodge Hall

Pivotal Poems

We have always featured guest poets in my class, and this semester, I will be asking poets to discuss three to five poems that have been pivotal to them.The emphasis will be on close reading, and the poets will provide some biographical context for the work, as well.We will also read poems aloud at the start of each class, and students will have the option of writing two short papers or memorizing ten poems. Over the years, our visiting poets have included our resident maestro Richard Howard, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, Marie Ponsot, April Bernard, Eamon Grennan, Galway Kinnell, Vijay Seshadri, Elizabeth Alexander, Saskia Hamilton, Henri Cole, J.D.McClatchy, and Rosanna Warren, and the roster will be equally distinguished in fall, 2005.