A course on teaching poetry might seem an unpromising venue for Decoding the Disciplines, since the process of producing a poem is often seen by the general public as the result of moments of inspiration that cannot be modeled. But, here, as in other academic contexts, there are specific steps that underlay the progress from the rough idea for a poem and a finished work. In fact, this effort may be particularly important in this area, since students are often so paralyzed by the distance between their own first drafts and the polished poems that they encounter in literature courses that they are unable to complete the task.
The video below was taken in a creative writing course at Indiana University Bloomington taught by (now) Emeritus Professor Tony Ardizzone and inspired by his work in the Freshman Learning Project. In this lesson Tony simultaneously demystifies the writing process, provides concrete steps for generating a polished poem, and empowers students to produce their own work.