First day of the quarter

. . . was yesterday. I "quizzed" my students on their scansion abilities. They were pretty sharp (many of 'em had me before, so they remembered their lessons).

One debate they had: How do you scan the word "Viennese"?

How do YOU scan "Viennese"?


Two classes this quarter, ENG 453, which is my advanced undergraduate poetry seminar, and ENG 504, which is my graduate level seminar.

For 453, we'll be writing entirely in forms, in the following order: Sonnet, Heroic Couplet, Ballad, Pantoum, Ghazal, Villanelle, and Sestina.

I'll be using "The Making of a Poem" by Strand and Boland as my text.

Why am I teaching an advanced workshop completely in forms? Because no one else is.

For my 504 class, we'll be trying to construct a manuscript of poetry, and I'll be giving them exercises for the realization of a book. I've got grad students who need to start thinking about a thesis, so this'll jump-start the process.

Books we'll look at: "Asylum," by Quan Berry, "Poeta en San Francisco," by Barbara Jane Reyes, "Descent of Alette," by Alice Notley, "Ark" by Ronald Johnson, and "Hoops" by Major Jackson. I want to teach more books, but we're on the quarter system and I don't want to bankrupt my poor students.


Other things . . . I'm on a low sodium diet and it sucks.

Another big tree fell. This one's our neighbor's, but it fell over the road between us, blocking our driveway.

I'm up for my 2-year tenure review, so I've got to cull together everything I've done in the past two years. I've done these before at Utica, so I know the drill.

I snowed and there are about eight inches on the ground.

Oliver de la Paz