Experimental Writing Seminar: Contraints & Collaborations
(How to Do Things with Words

Charles Bernstein

go to >>>>SYLLABUS

Penn News 2018 article on 111: pdf

This is a nontraditional "poetry immersion" workshop. The workshop will be useful for those wanting to explore new possibilities for writing and art, whether or not they have a commitment to writing poetry. The workshop will be structured around a series of writing experiments, collaborations, intensive readings, art gallery visits, and the production of individual chapbooks or web sites for each participant, and performance of participants' works. There may also be some visits from visiting poets. The emphasis in the workshop will be on new and innovative approaches to composition and form, including digital, sound, and performance, rather than on works emphasizing narrative or story telling. Each week, participants will discuss the writing they have done as well as the assigned reading. Permission of the instructor is required. Send a brief email stating why you wish to attend the workshop (writing samples not required) to charles.bernstein at english.upenn.edu.

The emphasis in the lab will be on new and innovative approaches to composition and form rather than on works emphasizing narrative or story telling.

Required Booksr
While Penn Book Center is no longer handling coursebooks, I recommend you buy all books through them. Some of these they will have in stock.
Raymond Queneau, Exercises in Style
Peter Gizzi, In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987–2011
James Sherry, Entangled Bank (buy directly from press or Penn Book Center or Amazon
Gizzi and Sherry will be making class visits.

As much as possible, all work for the class should be posted on our web listserve. If at all possible, I would like to avoid paper submissions, with the exception of visual or sculptural or performance work, which will be presented in the workshop. If it is possible for you to present your work in HTML, audio, or other digital formats, all the better; in that case, simply send the link (or attachment) to the list or send me the work as an attachment and I will upload to our Eng111 website.

Post post all work for the class Sunday afternoon at the lastest
(though supplements are always welcome).

You are required (1) to make at least one submission each week and to present this (or part of it) in the workshop, and (2) to comment on one or more posts by a fellow student. As a final project, due the last week of class, compile a chapbook ms or web collection of your work; I expect we will also do a group project, such as a magazine.

You are always welcome to supplement or add writing or art projects of your own to the list of assigned experiments, as well as to pick alternative experiments from the full experiments list or translation projects.

While not required, the poetry readings and related activities at the Kelly Writers House, which is part of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Witting, are recommended. These readings, and others in the area, especially the Temple University Creative Writing Program readings, form an natural extension of the class. Readings specifically related to English 111 are included in the syllabus. Announcements and discussions of these events will take place in class and on the class listserv.

Grading Criteria
Thirteen weekly writing assignment: 33.3333%
Class participation: 31.8235%
Posting the week's work by Sunday afernoon at the last: 104.8%

Attendance and participation at local arts events: incalculable
Final presentation/manuscript: 18.03505%
Grading is weighted toward internal response of the student to the reading, assigned exercises, class discussion, and feedback on work; so that the student is evaluated in terms of her or his own progress within the course, adjusting for the experience, skill, and talent on entering the class.

Sample work from past 111s
Fall 2017
Fall 2015
Spring 2014
Spring 2012
Spring 2011
Spring 2010
Spring 2009

Poetry on the Web
Check out the Electronic Poetry Center & PennSound.
Reading and listening assignments from the web are listed in the syllabus. Ubuweb is another important source we will use.

Google Group
The first thing to do it to join discussion list. to be used for all posts.

All work for the class should be posted there. This also means that you will be able to read your fellow student's submission on-line, and respond to them. You can also customize the settings.