Shelley and Synergy: Semester Mantra, Spring 2017

Hark! the rushing snow! The sun-awakened avalanche! whose mass, Thrice sifted by the storm, had gathered there Flake after flake, in heaven-defying minds As thought by thought is piled, till some great truth Is loosened, and the nations echo round, Shaken to their roots, as do the mountains now.  Percy …

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Semester Mantra, Fall 2016

I wrote this blog-post a year ago, but have decided to use the quote by Cummings as a mantra for this semester. I am teaching “Ecopoetics in the Age of the Anthropocene” and a sampling of 20th Century American literature that focuses on trauma, healing, language, and consciousness. Therefore, wandering in …

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Literary #instaessays: Finding a Way

I am just starting to experiment in what could be called a literary‪ #‎instaessay‬–a compelling genre full of possibility. I have written a couple poem-essays on some images from The Emily Dickinson Archive. I am interested in what opens up in terms of circulation (and rhetorical velocity) when we have students …

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Negative Capability: Semester Mantra, Spring 2016

John Keats defines negative capability as the moment when one “is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.” Difficult to do, but this semester, more than any other, I hope students linger in this space. I am teaching a course on Emily Dickinson. …

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Semester Mantra, Fall 2015

This semester, I am starting off one of my classes (and discussing later in my other courses) Walt Whitman’s “Vocalism,” which is my mantra. We are also reading Carolyn Hill’s “Changing Times in Composition Classes: Kairos, Resonance, and the Pythagorean Connection.” Why? To be a good reader and writer, one …

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