On co-teaching

A bit more from the syllabus of my upcoming poetry worksop.

How’s that for a Freudian typo. Workshop.


Something started happening with the presentations in a class I taught last spring. Between the work of the presenting student, and my pesky interrupts, and the contributions of everyone else, they ceased to be presentations, without becoming anything else at all defined. A little bit seminar, a little bit Q&A, quite a lot of free-for-all. The presenter and I were, in effect, teaching the class together in an ongoing improvisation, and though there was sometimes awk­wardness there was a lot of joy. I think a lot got learned. I came to call the practice co-teaching.

Scruffy, unpredictable, co-teaching is a surrender of control and dispersal of authority very much in the spirit of the rhizome. So I propose that we take up co-teaching as a practice this quarter also. First time round, it came adventitiously, and I don’t want to over-plan things now, it might kill the spontaneity. Soon to come, then, bare traces of a structure, offered tentative, for us to revise if we find them too much, or too little, or simply amiss.

For now. Each of you will sign up to co-teach one poetry text and one poetics text. (Full list below.) In most cases you’ll be collaborating with one fellow student and with me. I’ll give you some pointers – poems or concepts I think important to touch on in the text – and will count on you to develop a plan of action, ahead of time, with your student collaborator. (If you need to involve me in your plans ahead of time, cool, but otherwise I’m happy improvising in response to whatever unfolds.) Sign-up will happen soon, so please acquaint yourself with the course texts promptly.


The list, i.e., the crazy we be up to:

William Carlos Williams, Spring & All

Robert Creeley, Pieces
Charles Olson, “Projective Verse”

John Taggart, “The Rothko Chapel Poem”
Denise Levertov, “Some Notes on Organic Form”

Ghandl of the Qayahl Llaanas, from Nine Visits to the Mythworld*
John Cage, “Lecture on Nothing”

Will Alexander, from Towards the Primeval Lightning Field*
Calvin Bedient, “Against Conceptualism” (CV)

Adonis, from Selected Poems*
Federico García Lorca, “Theory and Play of the Duende”

Jean Valentine, Break the Glass
Lyn Hejinian, “The Rejection of Closure”

Coral Bracho, from Firefly under the Tongue*
Adrienne Rich, “When We Dead Awaken”

*Selections to be worked out in consultation with co-teachers.


Image credit: Marc Ngui, Thousand Plateaus.

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headComposter

I write draw teach blog in and from the Pacific Northwest of America.

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