16 Bar assignment beats for English 218

Abrie M


Ercan C


Daniel S


Stephen R


Courtney B


Jackie T



Eva C

Olivia S G Thang

Danielle S


Juliana W

Rachel D in the Place to Be

G Thang

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Final Conferences for English 218

It’s time for your final conference. Please sign up for one of the many available slots below. Times are available on a first email, first come basis. At our conference, we will go over the following: a breakdown of your final grade; your strengths as an active learner in this class, ways you think you can improve; your Final Performance.

These conferences will take place in my office, which is Dolan Hall, 442 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203. My office is Room #1, the first on the right as you walk in. Please note that a missed conference, or one you fail to schedule with me, counts as a missed class (i.e., one absence), and cannot be made up.

Tuesday, March 31

1pm Abrie M

2pm Eva C

2:30 Ercan K

3pm Juliana W


4pm Stephen R

4:30pm Rachel D

5pm Jacky T

Wednesday April 1

11:30am Courtney B

1pm Danielle S



Thursday, April 2




4:30pm Daniel S

5pm Olivia S

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Collaborative Writing: Some Exercises

Above: a video on making an exquisite corpse poem that may or may not be helpful.

Some thoughts on collaborative poetry writing

Collaborative poetry goes back as far as poetry itself. You could say all writing is collaboration, how we draw from writing that precedes us, that inspires us. Some collaboration is more obvious. A poem attributed to more than one author is an examples. Other collaborations are more subtle. A poet may get a first line from another poet, a friend, or a source text, and this may or may not be mentioned in the notes of a book.

Still others collaboration is never mentioned at all. A poet write down things a friend says at a party,  integrates that into a poem. Or maybe a poet remembers something overhear during a movie or television show.

There are so many reasons to bring collaboration into your writing life. The first and foremost is that it’s fun. It works a different section of your brain; it forces you to react to someone else. Often and ideally, the result is another voice entirely different than any one collaborating author. Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton, two poets who have collaborated for years, call it their third collaborative voice.

The scholarly and clinical literature out there shows that using collaborative writing techniques deepen interpersonal communication and strengthens bonds in a group. The writing activity becomes a venue of personal disclosure with other people also involved in the process, based on what one researcher calls “mutual concern.” Group members have a chance to develop and demonstrate proficiency in basic group skills. Charles Gillespie, a clinical addiction counselor who has written a number of articles on collaborative poetry writing in a therapeutic setting, talks about how writing poems together leads to a “sociopoetic process.”

“Poems that capture authentic human experience, no matter how simple or sophisticated,” Gillespie writes, “are the poems that generate the most discussion and identification.”

Collaboration with found material

“Poem Beginning with a Line by _____.” This could be another poet, which is the time-honored tradition. It could also be something overheard, a line from a TV show or magazine article. The poet Ross Gay has a poem called “Poem Beginning with a Line Overheard in the Gym,” for example.

First poet writes/says a line, second poet writes/says the next.  Repeat as necessary.

One word at a time–out loud, with a note-taker, or with one person typing, or both writing/typing. The collaborative poems of Matthew Rohrer and Joshua Beckman are often done live.

The only rule we gave ourselves was that when one’s turn came, one could say either a word or use punctuation (and later, parts of words). As we got more comfortable with the back-and-forth exchange, the process became as much about challenging each other as it was about helping each other complete the poem. For instance, a phrase that, were it printed out afterwards on the page would read “weirdly eyeing” was actually made by adding suffixes and such to each other’s words, so that the content of the phrase was constantly shifting, like this: “we / ‘re / d / ly / I / ing”.

This is collaborative poetry as performance. We will be doing this for sure.

Asynchronous collaboration

Collaboration is often two or more people in the same room. But other times it’s not. It’s done asynchronously: over snail mail, email, and now with collaborative methods online like Google documents.


I am still looking into this Japanese form. Ron Padgett’s excellent Handbook of Poetic Forms calls this form a collaborative form. Here’s how the Academy of American Poets explains how rengas are written:

To create a renga, one poet writes the first stanza, which is three lines long with a total of seventeen syllables. The next poet adds the second stanza, a couplet with seven syllables per line. The third stanza repeats the structure of the first and the fourth repeats the second, alternating in this pattern until the poem’s end.

Group sestina

Sestina, six poets: Each poet picks a word for each teleuton/end word; each poet then writes a stanza; all write the envoi. Generator here.


An abecedarian uses the alphabet’s order as its design. (Fun fact: Psalms 31:10-31, the famous “virtuous woman” passage,” is actually an abecedarian acrostic poem that uses the Hebrew alphabet.)

Exquisite corpse

The classic group poetry exercise. “Play Exquisite Corpse” from Academy of American Poets

One teacher’s lesson plan

“All Together Now: Collaborations in Poetry Writing.” EdSITEment. National Endowment for the Humanities. Contains lesson plans for grades K-2.

Bouts-rimés, or rhyme challenge. James Addison, as he is quoted this entry in The Wikipedia, describes this as a “[list] of words that rhyme to one another, drawn up by another hand, and given to a poet, who was to make a poem to the rhymes in the same order that they were placed upon the list.” Here is an encyclopedia entry.

Some peer-reviewed research on collaborative poetry in the classroom.

Gillespie, Charles. “The use of collaborative poetry as a method of deepening interpersonal communication among adolescent girls.” Journal of Poetry Therapy. 18:4 (December 2005), 221-231. <http://www.cottonwooddetucson.com/pdf/Staff_Arti>.

Gillespie, Charles. “Recovery Poetry 101: The use of collaborative poetry in a dual-diagnosis drug and alcohol treatment program.” Journal of Poetry Therapy. 15:2 (Winter 2001), 83-92.

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Fall 2015 English 494 English Internship Meetings

Before the semester*:

*If you cannot make any of these pre-semester meetings, it is student’s responsibility to present alternate days and times as soon as possible, before the Fall 2014 semester ends.

Before our first meeting, go to the Career Center and research writing a resume and cover letter, as well as look over samples in our shared Dropbox folder, which I will share with all students after they register for the class. We’ll go over the explanation of requirements of class and grading rubric, review the Learning Contract procedure, and take a look at available internships.

Friday April 17; 9am-11:00am CANCELLED
Albertus 112
Revised resume and cover letters due. Please note: students cannot apply for any internship before his or her resume and cover letter have been approved by the internship coordinator. We will also discuss LinkedIn, interviews, and finding an internship placement.

Friday April 24; 9am-11:00am
Albertus 112
Resumes and Cover letters must be approved by this date. Also in attendance: the Spring 2015 internship class, who will be finishing their Final Portfolio and will assist you in navigating the class.

During the semester:

These are mandatory class meetings. Attendance will be taken. Adjust your internship and work schedule accordingly, as you would any other class.

September 4; 9am-11:00am
Albertus 112
The last day for Finalizing Learning Contracts, which are due September 11

October 16; 9am-11:00am
Albertus 112
Midterm conferences and grades

December 4; 9am-11:00am
Albertus 112
Final Portfolios

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Directions for Advisees: Preparing for Your Advising Appointment, Advisement Times

Hello, Daniel Nester Advisee!

This post explains what you need to do before your advising appointment on Advising Day this coming Tuesday March 24, 2015 as well as outline how to set up an appointment with me. If you are a continuing advisee, you probably know the drill; if you are a new advisee, I urge you read all of these directions, and email me with any questions before we meet.

The goal of this 15- to 20-minute meeting is for me to advise you on which classes you should take, discuss your academic progress to your degree, approve your tentative schedule, and give you a PIN number so you can register for classes. We have a short time to accomplish this.This means student advisees need to do some work before we meet. Advisement meetings will take place in my office Dolan Hall, 442 Western Avenue, 1st floor, Room #1 first on the right. My office phone number is 518-454-2812; my email is nesterd at strose dot edu.

Preparing for Your Advising Appointment

1. Email me to sign up for a meeting. The schedule with appointment times is at the bottom of this post. Check this page and refresh it often. Advisement times are on a first-email, first served basis. There are as many appointment times as there are advisees, and then some.

2. Obtain and fill out a Course Registration Form. This is important. The English Department has copies as well as the Registrar in Saint Joseph Hall’s Student Solution Center. Here is a link to a PDF filePlease do not come to our advisement appointment without filling out the top matter of this form (i.e., your name and address) and courses you need to take.If we change your choices through the course of our meeting, we can simply cross one course out and add another. Bottom line: bring the form and fill it out beforehand. If you do not come to our appointment without a filled-out form, I will have to reschedule our appointment. If you show up without a form or with simply a blank form, there’s no point in meeting, since a large part of our meeting will consist of me looking at you writing out your address.

3. Login to Banner (bannerweb.strose.edu) and review your Academic Progress report. Print the report out or download it for your files. Look at it and see if all of your classes are falling into the right places. Identify which areas in your English major requirements as well as your Liberal Education requirements you still need to fulfill.

3a. If you are a transfer student, looking at your Academic Progress Report is doubly important. Make sure that your transfer classes are there, that nothing looks strange or out of place, that your transferred classes are also “counting” for requirements you think they should be. For example, make sure that a class you thought fulfilled a requirement is not languishing in your General Electives on the bottom-right-hand corner of your report. You should also have a copy of your Statement of Transfer Credit report, which tallies up which classes you took at your previous institution, and tells you where it will apply in the College of Saint Rose degree requirement. If you transferred from some of the local colleges, the college keeps a Transfer Equivalency Database online.  This information is designed to help provide you with an unofficial evaluation of the courses and how they may transfer to the College. It’s helpful to see if any of your courses should have gone somewhere else on your degree requirements. Please come with these questions at our meeting, and we can figure out the next step. Those of you who have already met me for an advising appointment know that I take ample notes in your student folder regarding what administrative tasks need to be done to make sure classes are falling in the right places in the Academic Progress Report, there are no clerical errors, etc.

4. Review the semester’s English Department Course Offerings and read the course descriptions. College-wide courses are at strose.edu/ugcourses. Look at your Academic Progress report and identify which kind of English courses you need to take. This is your major; read the courses descriptions and come with questions about particular courses.Figure out your schedule as far as days of the week are concerned.And finally: Have an idea of which English course(s) you would like to take next semester (as well as Summer, if applicable).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015





12pm Georgie D [advisee]

12:30pm Georgie D [advisee]


2pm Christina M [advisee]







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