Writing Poetry

W303 — Spring 2019

Romayne Rubinas Dorsey
Days and Times
9:30a - 10:45a TR
Course Description

This upper-level poetry workshop will focus on developing original work while reading and discussing what’s being written and published in contemporary poetry.  We will read work by contemporary poets, which we will explore through class discussion and in generative writing.

In class, we will focus on craft through close reading of poetry along with a few essays on poetics as well as in-class writing. In workshop, we will engage poems in process: what is found there, what calls for further exploration, etc.  

You will be expected to hand in 8-10 new and original poems, several from prompts or in-class writing. Revision is where writing happens and you will be expected to discuss your process in the preface to the course’s final portfolio of your work. You will be expected to offer substantive written critique of peer work as well as participate actively in all workshops and class discussions. In preparation for discussion, you will keep a reading journal on course readings.


Possible course texts: selected essays on poetics; a variety of individual poetry collections (possibilities include: Biss’ The Balloonists; Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude; Hayes’ American Sonnets; Limon’s Bright Dead Things; Martens’ Ursa Minor; Sharif’s Look; Smith’s Life On Mars; Vuong’s Night Sky With Exit Wounds).

To apply for admission to the course, send the following materials (MSWord or rtf docs) to: rrubinas@indiana.edu


  1. Your name, SID# and a current email address
  2. A note outlining your interest in the course as well as previous courses in creative writing (you should have taken at least one of the following: W103 or W203; please let me know what semester you took these courses);
  3. And most importantly, 3 pages of what you consider your best poetry.


I will admit and notify students as they apply, so chances for admission increase with early submission of materials.