A Poetic Writing Practice: Analyzing, Writing and Reading

Department: Humanities

Instructors: Gidi Loza Torre
Instructors' Emails: elozator@ucsd.edu
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

In order to understand and learn about the process of writing poetry, through the development of a daily writing practice, students will be able to submerge themselves in a theoretical and practical activity of writing. The students will engage in a daily practice of analyzing, writing and reading poetry. Every day, there will be time allotted for each one of the three parts of the course, namely analyzing, writing and reading, and the core of the course will be to develop these three edges in order to learn a particular perspective of poetry writing.  

The analytical part will focus on the reading, analyzing, discussing and identifying the poetical elements in a given poem. The instructor will provide the necessary poetical elements for the student to engage in the process of analyzing a poem. Each day, a different poem will be analyzed, its most important features will be at stake, and will be the student task to learn the poetical elements and engage and contribute to the discussion.

The writing part will develop the student capacity to write poetry engaging in a daily practice of writing. The student will write a poem each day, there will be specific characteristics for the poem in turn, these given by the instructor, and they will be in relation to the poem analyzed that day. At the end of the course, the student will have a substantial written work of poetry, comprised of fifteen poems.

The reading part will focus on the student ability to read its own writing. The student will engage in the activity of reading out loud the poem written that day, as a way to explore ways of reading and understanding the poem through the student’s own voice. The student will develop its own capacity and perspective of poetry reading, a crucial task as whether to understand and create its own poetical world.

The aim of this course is to provide the student the necessary tools in order to generate understanding for the complex process involved in poetry. The daily practice of the three edges will provide the student with the necessary experience and practice to understand and develop its own perspective towards writing and to provide an understanding of what poetry could be about in order for the student to question and create its own poetical world.



The student will write a poem each day. At the end of the course the student will have a portfolio comprised by 15 poems.

Topical Outline

What is poetry?

What is a poem?

The poetical line

Form and content 

Rhetorical figures 



The Process of writing 


Texts to be reviewed: 


Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School

Bruce Andrews, WhDiP, A Sequence

Charles Bernstein, Girly Man

William Burroughs, Cut-Up exercises

Ben/Sandra Doller, The Yesterday Project

Allen Ginsberg, Howl

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee

Lyn Hejinian, The Book of a Thousand Eyes

Harmony Holiday, Go Find Your Father: A Famous Blues

Harryette Mullen, Urban Tumbleweed

George Oppen, Of Being Numerous

Claudia Rankine, Citizen

Jerome Rothenberg, A Paradise of Poets

Juliana Spahr, This Connection of Everyone with Lungs

Gertrude Stein, Mexico

Cecilia Vicuna, Spit Temple/Instan



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