How does being in front of a live audience change the perception of the poetry?
In the Pedro Pietri interview I posted, Pietri was critical of slam poetry and thought it relied too much on people’s personalities and being performers–do you agree?
What do their stories say about the urban experience?
Lastly, choose 2 poems you like, watch them a few times and be prepared to discuss in class.
Revised Wed. 5/7 to remove the homework assignment for Monday
For Monday May 12th the assignment is to watch the Youtube videos of various poets from Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam, which ran for several seasons on HBO. Also read Ben Brantley’s New York Times review of Def Poetry on Broadway.
Assignment: Write 1 page (typed, double spaced) on one poem from the list below. How does it reflect the urban experience? Does It? Why is it appealing to you? Correction: there’s no assignment.
Questions to think about:
Here are the poems. There are several, but they’re mostly short. It’s less than a half hour, total.
For Wednesday May 14th (re)read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). Think about major themes that we’ve been talking about all semester and bring questions to the class. We’ll spend the last class reflecting on the semester and have an open prep/ study session for the final exam.
Remember that papers are due on Friday the 16th by e-mail. if you’ve lost your copy of the assignment sheet, you can download another one. Also, the final is scheduled for Monday, May 19, 1:30-3:30 PM in the regular classroom. Be sure to arrange for childcare/ time off work/ whatever you need to do now, as there will be no make-ups, except for extraordinary circumstances. Unless you can provide a hospital or arrest record (your own, not a family member’s), you get no make-up. “My family bought plane tickets to go on vacation” or similar is not an extraordinary circumstance in my book. Consider college a job and be up front with family, friends, etc. about what that commitment means. This also means protecting your time and space at critical points in the semester. If you can afford to (and have the flexibility–not everyone does), ask for a few extra days off in advance of crunch periods at work. Believe it or not, reasonable managers/bosses will see this as a sign of maturity and evidence of your ability to look ahead and see it as a good thing. No guarantees on that, however. YMMV, as they say.