My students had their midterm exams today, so I am anxious to see what sunk in and what still needs work.

We’ve just finished A. Van Jordan’s M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, though we’ll come back to it toward the end of class, when students begin thinking about how collections of poems work.  Response to the book was terrific… though a couple students were skeptical when they first finished it, I think most had come around by the time they’d written papers on it.  A couple listed it as the best thing they’ve read in class on their midterm evaluations.  (Brigit Pegeen Kelly showed up on that list a lot, as did Zbigniew Herbert and Mark Jarman.)

Reading list #4 came out today; here’s what’s on it.

Thomas Lux, The Cradle Place
Charles Simic, Charon’s Cosmology
Kara Candito, Taste of Cherry
Dan Albergotti, The Boatloads
Donald Hall, Without
Mary Oliver, American Primitive
Tony Hoagland, What Narcissism Means to Me
Pablo Neruda, Winter Garden
William Matthews, Time & Money
Nickole Brown, Sister
Carl Dennis, Practical Gods
Donald Justice, The Sunset Maker
Ross Gay, Against Which
Mark Jarman, Unholy Sonnets
Geri Doran, Resin
Thomas Lux, God Particles
William Matthews, Flood

My students continue to make really interesting and bold choices.  (They request five books they’re interested in; I assign one.) A couple of these books didn’t appear on request lists but will be really helpful to the students who got them, but most were directly requested by students.  I was really pleased to see Ross Gay’s name pop back up.  After reading one of his essays and his poem “Jet” in class, Tony Hoagland’s name was on many of the lists this time around.  Hey, UNC faculty member who has had all of Tony’s work checked out since the beginning of the semester and doesn’t have to return them until 2-23-10, get over yourself and return these books to the library so I can assign them! One student had to resort to saying, “I’ll buy the book if you’ll just assign it to me.”

Comments (1)

Leave a Reply