Special Course Descriptions

* DRA 394 11/BLS 394 13/ENG 394 13 Poetry of Performance

Participants are expected to "personally perform" a specific number of selected poems in class and in public venues such as the annual Kent County Poetry Festival. This course examines aspects of recitation and the oral traditions of poetry emphasizing America's long history of memorizing and reciting favorite poems. The influences of Native American, African, European and other traditions on the performance of poetry will be considered, as well as the growing popularity of "spoken word", the dialect poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the blues and jazz poetry of Langston Hughes and Ted Joans, the improvisational recitation of the Beats, the influence of Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement, the Nuyoricans and contemporary Slam Poetry. Class assignments will entail students reading, examining and reciting their own work and the works of assigned poets.