English 309 - Asian American and Pacific Poetry and Lyric

Asian American Poetry

Sony Coranez Bolton

M/W | 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM

Amherst College
Newport Residence Hall Room 102

This hybrid critical-creative course explores contemporary Asian American and Pacific poetry and lyric. Through the writings of such poets as Chen Chen, Franny Choi, William Alfred Nu’utupu Giles, Kawika Guillermo, Huan He, R. Zamora Linmark, Mejdulene Shomali, Teresa Ngiao Simmons, Mai Der Vang, Ocean Vuong, and Monica Youn, as well as lyricists such as Rich Brian, HER, Joji, Keshi, Rina Sawayama, Saweetie, students will explore themes of identity; colonialism; war and militarism; diaspora and displacement; climate change and catastrophe; joy and pleasure; coming of age and grief; love and rage. While the course will be primarily focused on artists who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander, there will also be assigned works by others such as Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, Cam Awkward-Rich, and Diane Seuss. The course will ask students to contextualize primary source texts within developments in the field of Asian American/Pacific cultural and literary studies over the past 50 years. In addition to scholarly analysis of these primary and secondary works, students will be asked to experiment with and produce their own poetry in relation to the cultural archive of the class. The final project will be a collaboratively produced and edited chapbook. Additionally, students will be required, with support from the professor, to plan and execute a public poetry reading of works produced in class celebrating Asian and Pacific American experience.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to English majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written analytic and creative work; readings of literature and literary criticism; artistic work; oral presentation and recitation; some group work; field trips that may require some mild physical movement (walks).

Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.