Friday, May 6, 2011

Your Final Portfolios

As mentioned at the start of the term, you'll be expected to hand in a final portfolio at the end of the term.  This will include the following things:
  1. Revisions of 5-6 poems that you wrote this term (either poems that were workshopped formally or poems that you wrote in response to our various prompts), including both the original and revised versions along with a brief explanation (a few sentences for each) of what changes you made, how workshop comments affected your alterations, etc.
  2. Two (2) copies of your finished chapbook (for me), plus a copy for everyone else in the workshop (so 20 copies altogether). * 
  3. A final evaluation of your experience in our workshop (details below).
* However,  I encourage you to make a larger set (say 40-50 copies) so you can distribute them to friends and family.  While printing/photocopying costs will increase in this case, you won't really be spending more in terms of paper, cover stock, etc. as you'll be buying a lot more than you'll use, even if you split with a few classmates.

For your final evaluation, I'd like you to answer the following questions, with your overall essay running to about 2.5-3 pages in length:
  1. In what ways have your poetics — or the way in which you think about poetry, it's meaning, its usefulness, etc. — changed over the course of this workshop?  How would you describe your poetics now?
  2. Have your compositional habits changed at all due to this workshop, and if so, how?  What prompt(s) did you find most useful and which one(s) could you just not get into?
  3. Did this workshop live up to your expectations (or, perhaps, exceed them)?  What would you say were the most useful things that you'll take away from this experience?

Also, it goes without saying that you should be caught up with any and all workshop evaluations of your classmates, and should have posted responses to at least 8 of the 10 workshop prompts I've posted throughout the quarter. 
I haven't yet decided whether we'll gather for one last class meeting during our allotted exam period or whether we'll have our last meeting on the final Friday of the quarter.  I'm leaning towards exam week as a) it'll give you more time to finish everything, and b) we'll have more than 50 minutes to discuss your work.  If we go with the exam week meeting, it will be from 12:00-2:00 on Wednesday, June 8th.

During this time, everyone will distribute their chapbooks to the rest of the workshop and we'll spend a little time looking them over and talking about the process of making them.  We'll also spend some time summing up our experiences throughout the quarter, guided by your responses to the self-evaluation above.  Because this is our last chance to meet, I must insist that everyone is present for our final meeting and ready with everything that needs to be handed in (and failing to do this will have negative consequences).

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