Weekly Schedule for Short Story and Poetry


(You must be prepared with the reading that is listed on the given day.)


Week 1, January 8 and 10

Tuesday: Welcome and introductions: What is literature? What is the canon?
Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow” (122)

In-class Journal 1: What type of genres do you prefer: prose or poetry? Horror or romance? In other words, write a paragraph explaining your taste in literature.

Thursday: What makes a story good? What qualifies a short story?
Chekhov, “A Blunder” (75)

Link to "A Blunder"

In-class Journal 2: Think of a moment in your own life in which you made a mistake that actually helped you in the long run. It can be funny like “A Blunder” if you would like.


Week 2, January 15 and 17

Tuesday: Women begin to write fiction–openly
Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”; Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
In-class Journal 3: Creating the yellow wallpaper

Thursday: Women Poets
Rossetti, “Song” (97) and other selections; Dickinson, read all–pick certain ones to close read

In-class Journal 4: Pick one poem to dissect from Dickinson—what does it mean? Does it have alternative meanings? Highlight certain words to analyze the symbolic intent. Take one word and write a 20 word poem that highlights the different possibilities.


Week 3, January 22 and 24

Tuesday: An introduction to Modernism
Yeats, “The Second Coming” (103)
Eliot “The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock” (129)

Thursday: Watch The Pendulum, the Pit, and Hope During the film—take notes on how it uses camera angles, editing, and sound.

Journal 5: Discuss how film differs from the written work. How is the story telling revealed in different ways (editing, sound, etc.)? Make sure you identify, interpret and evaluate specific aspects of the movie. Then, make an assertion of the overall meaning.


Week 4, January 29 and 31

Tuesday: The Poetry of Hughes, Brooks, and McKay
Hughes, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” “Theme for English B” and “Harlem” (142-144); The poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks
Brooks “We Real Cool” and “The Bean Eaters”
McKay, “America” (135)

Poetry File

Harlem Ren. PP

Thursday: Is society really that good?
Ellison’s “Battle Royal” (258)
How it feels to be Colored me

Journal 6: Choose one of the works and write a close-reading—hone in on one angle of the poem or story to unpack and explore. Connect to the historical perspectives we discussed in class and how the work expesses a different kind of history.


Week 5, February 5 and 7

Tuesday: A Psychological Approach

Thursday:Jackson, “The Lottery” (272)

Journal 7: What is the overall meaning of this story? Can you think of modern day examples of groupthink and how it becomes problematic in other ways? Have you ever experienced a time that you did not agree with the group that you were in? How did it turn out? Did you rebel against the majority? Was it because it directly affected you?


Week 6, February 12 and 14

Thursday: Ambrose Bierce’s “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”; Twilight Zone? Job Fair: Should we have work online?

Link to the Twilight Zone

Journal 9: Reflect on this episode. What film techniques did it use to emphasize its message? What historical references are important to understand this work? How does the 'flashback' function to pull in the reader in an empathetic way? Make sure you pull in specific examples.


Week 7, February 19 and 21

Tuesday: Carver, “Cathedral” (345)

Due this class!: Journal 8: Have you ever experienced a moment that you had to meet someone you did not want to? How did it get resolved? Did it stem from a prejudice or a jealousy?

Thursday: James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues"

Journal 10: Compare and contrast the brothers. How does the text describe them? Quote the work at least three times. What is the overall message and how do these quotes tie into this message? I will ask everyone in the class to share their favorite quote with an analysis.

Conferences as scheduled


Week 8, February 26 and 28

Flash Fiction due at conference: You must develop from one of your journals a story that engages in one of the themes we have discussed within this course.

Conferences as scheduled; bring first draft of your creative work

Week of March 4th: Spring Break!