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Orality of Poetry

Bruce Noll, banoll@unm.edu

Core: Humanities

Course Description

This course explores poetry from the perspectives of performance and critical listening to better understand the ways in which poetry can be communicated in spoken form. A plethora of poetry will be evaluated from aesthetic and technical perspectives as experienced through vocalization.

Readings and Texts

A course reader will be available for purchase. Students are also required to have access to a poetry anthology (approved by the professor).

Films and Other Course Materials

Video and audio recordings of various poets will be used in classroom sessions. Listed here are some samples:
The Poet's View, a documentary featuring John Ashbery, Louise Gluck, Anthony Hecht and W.S.Merwin.
Audio recordings of 75 poets and readers by The Academy of American Poets
Various poet performances accessed from the internet.

Student Requirements

Students will have an opportunity to deepen an appreciation for poetry as well as for the spoken word. The communication skills of discussion, listening and critical writing can be improved upon in this class. A variety of poetic styles from across cultures and centuries will be read, heard and analyzed. Specific assignments will include prepared readings, written critiques of poetry events, participation in class activities, critical reflective papers and short performance-readings of poetry.

About the Instructor

Dr. Bruce Noll has taught this course for five years for Honors. He has also taught many courses at UNM and elsewhere in communication, including speech. He was awarded Lecturer of the Year at UNM in 2000. He is a poet whose works appear in regional and national journals and periodicals. He has authored four poetry books: Circumference of Light (2016), Notes to My Mortician (2013), The American Entomologists Poet's Guide to the Orders of Insects (editor, 2014) and The Gospel Edits (a chapbook, 2010). For the past 45 years Bruce's presentation of Whitman's Leaves of Grass, entitled PURE GRASS has been seen in 27 states and five other countries. He also presents a program on Whitman for the New Mexico Humanities Council Chautauqua Program.