Each year, the Creative Writing Program welcomes a distinguished poet to teach a Stanford writing seminar to undergraduates. These unique classes are kept small--limited to no more than 15 students--and they focus on a subject of the writer’s expertise and choosing. The writer also holds a public reading and discussion.
For dates, times, and locations of their scheduled readings, visit our Events page. These seminars are made possible with the generous support of Lawrence and Nancy Mohr.
The Sonnet - Spring 2021
In this course, we will look at the sonnet’s history in English, from its 16th century beginnings to the contemporary period. Readings will range from Shakespeare, Wyatt, and Donne to 20th-century poets including McKay, Brooks, Frost, and Sexton, all the way up to the contemporary period, where we will read poets including Wanda Coleman, Jennifer Chang, Eduardo Corral, Lyn Hejinian, and Ada Limón. What has made the sonnet so lasting? What is its particular appeal to queer and BIPOC poets? What is the sonnet’s relationship to risk? We will consider these and other questions as we explore the sonnet as a form and as a psychology. In addition to reading, students will write their own sonnets along the way. Think of this course as a shared quest toward greater understanding of the sonnet’s tradition, its distinct modernity, and its capacity for innovation.
Enrollment in the during Spring Quarter course is through the Course Preference Form.