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CW 134 - The Craft of Poetry

Summer 2021

This two-unit course on poetry & poetics emphasizes an introduction to craft—how poems are created, what their elements are, and how the finished pieces work—which you will explore through careful study of models by published writers, and through writing and revising your own original pieces generated for this class.

Available in 
Completion of the R&C sequence of writing courses at UC Berkeley or the equivalent.
Units and Format 
2 units – Ten hours of seminar per week for three weeks
Grading Option 
Letter grade





Class Number: 10644
Meeting time @ place:
MTUWTHF 1:00pm - 3:00pm @ Online
Section Theme: Sound, Space, the Line: Your Creative Path
Instructor: Belinda Kremer
Section Description:

This course is offered in Session F (July 6-July 23, 2021).

"Sound, Space ..." is adapted for remote learning.  We'll meet synchronously online M, T, Th 1pm--3pm. Wed & Fri sessions asynchronous. 

For a sense of how we’ll engage poetry:  

Check out Amanda Gorman & Trevor Noah on The Daily Social Distancing Show, Feb 2021

Explore some literary magazines at Poets & Writers

Meet your instructor: Belinda Kremer      

We'll focus on your creation of new poems as we encounter diverse poets, considering what gives “free” verse its dynamism,  and delving into "fixed" forms, sound poems, visual poems and digital hybrids. We'll consider poetry’s two core, competing media: sound and space/silence. We'll work with how poetry's primary unit--the line--shapes these media.  Short exercises will get you writing, help you build your craft, and push you towards new work. Drafting, feedback, development; craft talks, revision, editing;  a sense of play, & workshops of your and your peers' poems will ground our work. With just 3 weeks, you'll be working to deadlines--always helpful. This summer intensive offers us the same community, collaboration and creative “hothouse” that writers travel the world for, attending retreats. No experience required; full engagement and participation is a significant aspec

Book List:

Required Purchase > The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics Diane Lockward Terrapin Books, 2018   paperback ISBN: 1947896075   e-book ISBN-13: 978-1-9478-9608-6    Available through the Cal Bookstore and other vendors. Access: paperback strongly preferred; e-book if print poses any access barrier. 

Free, w/ unlimited access >> the 2 books below,  via ProQuest Ebook Central, UC Berkeley Library. Access these at any time, & read around in them as much as you like. They are rich resources, leading to other rich resources, & new approaches poems & poetics--& you'll surely "meet" in them some poets new to you. 

The Art of Poetry : How to Read a Poem   Weiss, Shira Wolosky. The Art of Poetry : How to Read a Poem, Oxford University Press USA - OSO, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central,

American Poetry Now       American Poetry Now : Pitt Poetry Series Anthology, edited by Ed Ochester, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Free, with unlimited access >>> Online Texts, Performances, Literary Magazines  As part of class, we'll access many poems & poets online.&nb

Class Number: 15461
Meeting time @ place:
MTUWTHF 1:00pm - 3:00pm @ Online
Section Theme: TBA
Section Description:

This course is offered in Session E (July 26-August 13, 2021).

Book List: