Last two weeks of the semester

We will be doing presentations in class. Here's the schedule.

Week #12

Tuesday, November 14
Finish reading Blanche Cleans Up.
Write Short Paper #19

We will leave a little time for working in groups.

Thursday, November 16
Back to the Urban Nature poetry book:
Choose a poem from the last section: Animals in the City

Short Paper #20

We will leave a little time for working in groups.
Here is the schedule for group presentations.

Want to add to our reading suggestions page that we started last spring? You can find it here.

Week #11

Tuesday, November 7

By now, you should have read the first six chapters
(or the first 123 pages) of Blanche Cleans Up.
Short paper #18

We need to get into groups for the final project. Here are some parameters.

  • Must be collaborative. No one works alone.
  • All members must speak up during the presentation.
  • The presentation should include an interactive element. Think of yourselves as teaching the class.
  • No screens unless there is a compelling reason. 
  • The topic has to give us some insight into urban nature or literature, or ideally, both.
  • If you choose to do something outside, let us know ahead of time so that everyone can dress for the weather.
Thursday, November 9

No class. Janine is at a conference in Arizona.
Make use of this extra time by finishing the book Blanche Cleans Up.

Our poem celebrating urban nature

A tree sprout breaks through
the earth and peeks out
of cracked pavement.
Clever raccoons prowl the dark alleys.
And there's a certain pride that comes from
watching the hardy street trees,
like people, they endure.

The wind whistling through buildings
harmonizes with the people walking
down the streets.
A dandelion, the sun in the
cracks of the city.
The sun's reflection on the
water sends thousands of sparkles back at us.

And then I looked up
and the sky
was still the sky.
The weeds in the cracks of
concrete are plants, too.
Small children swim in the fountains
On a hot day in Washington Square.
Sunsets over the highline
remind us that
the end
is only tomorrow's beginning.
Light is on. Relax.

Children running through a park.
Water: a part of city, a part of life.
Tossing a frisbee on the lively quad.
The breeze a breath of fresh air
to pull deep into your lungs and
fill your soul.
I stood in awe of the hawk circling
above the building.

The city celebrates the resiliency of
nature and the human spirit.
The rustle of leaves underfoot
as people and squirrels
and birds alike travel to work each day.
A neon experience, the electric sunrise,
at 2:15 am.

We've got trees, we've got birds,
Let's bless them all until we get feshniked.
Ivy growing up the smooth
steel creating a view as
beautiful as the Mona Lisa.
Oh, wow. Look at that flying squirrel!

Somewhere brown girls sit on a golden
stoop braiding hair, the sun
smiling down on them.

Week #10

Tuesday, October 31
Enjoy Poetry Day! Bring a poem (or two) that you are prepared to read aloud. It can be any of the poems I xeroxed for you. Or a poem from the book. Or a poem you've written. Or a poem that you think we should all hear. If you'd like, bring food or drink to share, but you aren't obligated to.

Thursday, November 2
Read the first three chapters (the first 68 pages) of Blanche Cleans Up.
Short Paper #17

We should get into groups for the collaborative project. Remind me!

Week #9

This week, we'll going to read poems from URBAN NATURE -- the poetry book.

I'm going to assign whole sections. Don't be intimidated by that. I want you to browse through the section and stop to read poems that speak to you. For your short paper, you could chose one poem to focus on, a couple poems to focus on -- or you could attempt to address themes that you see throughout the whole section. Be sure to bring your book to class so that when we talk about a poem, we can all look at it.

Tuesday, October 24
Cityscape, pp 5-48
Short Paper #15

If it's too overwhelming to look at the whole section and you want me to point you to particular poems, here are a few to look at:

Linda Hogan, "Heartland" page 10
Chase Twichell, "City Animals" page 12
Maurice Kenny, "Still Life" page 15
Lee Meitzen Grue, "The Dogs of New York" page 22
Amy Clampitt, "Times Square Water Music" page 27
Alfred Corn, "Water: City Wildlife and Greenery" page 30
Barton Sutter, "Peregrine" page 32

Thursday, October 26
Streets, Highways, Bridges, Rivers, pp 53-87
Short Paper #16

If you want me to point to a few poems in particular, here's the list:
Linda Hogan, "Potholes" page 53
Wyn Cooper, "Pollen" page 61
Carlos Reyes, "Arizona Nocturne" page 67
Gail White, "Dead Armadillos" page 69
Richard Garcia, "A Diver for the NYPD Talks to His Girlfriend" page 81
Mary Oliver "Swans on the River Ayr" page 86

Week #8

If you would like an appointment to come talk to me, sign up here:

Tuesday, October 17
"Thank God it Snowed" Ronald L. Fair, p 182
“The Monkey Garden” Sandra Cisneros, p 164.

Short Paper # 13

Thursday, October 19

"Chicago Waters" Susan Power, p 168.
"Some Experiences with Insects" Leonard Dubkin, p 174.

Short Paper #14