Week of October 2 (NIGHT class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Finish the first written assignment due Tuesday October 2. See the Assignments page for it if you’ve misplaced your copy. (Re)Read the assignment sheet thoroughly and make sure you understand what I’m asking. There are no trick questions here: I’m looking for exactly what’s on there. Now is also the time to schedule time with Lehman’s ACE Center if you’re not totally confident about your writing ability. Also see the resources on the assignments page for some quick MLA formatting tips.
  • NY State’s voter registration deadline is approaching for the November elections. Download an application here (PDF). New applications must be postmarked by 10/12 and received by 10/17. Changes in political party affiliation deadline is 10/12. Address change deadline is 10/17. You can also register/change info in person. Full details at the Board of Elections website.

Recap from this week’s classes:

  • See my lecture notes on Piñero on the Lecture Notes page
  • Finished Piñero’s poetry
  • Intro to Short Eyes and historical contexts
  • See the short background clip on the 1971 Attica prison rebellion

Tuesday October 2: Finish reading Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243 in Outlaw) and watch the film version embedded below. (Re)read the Epilogue (pp. 235-243). Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Watch the film version of Piñero’s Short Eyes (1978). Piñero has a few scenes in the beginning as the fictional character Go Go. The famous soul vocalist Curtis Mayfield has a part also in addition to creating the soundtrack.

 

 

For Thursday, October 4, we’ll move to the first novel of the semester. Read pages 1-54 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

A few things to pay attention to in the book are:

  • The characters Quiñonez creates and what slice of city life they show
  • How urban space is shown in the book and what different characters think about their surroundings
  • The role of culture and what it means
  • Quiñonez’s relationship as a writer to Pietri and Piñero (there are numerous references to both and their poetry throughout the book)
  • The “American Dream” and what it means to the characters in the book
  • How different generations of immigrants/migrants relate to the city and city life
  • Race and gender relations

This isn’t a complete list, but these are a few key things that jump out at me. Begin to look for connections/ similarities / differences in things we’ve read (and other things you’ve read/ watched /studied in other classes, etc).

Presentation by: Rita, Eimy, Veronica, and Syntis

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Advertisements

Week of October 2 (DAY class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Finish the first written assignment due Tuesday October 2. See the Assignments page for it if you’ve misplaced your copy. (Re)Read the assignment sheet thoroughly and make sure you understand what I’m asking. There are no trick questions here: I’m looking for exactly what’s on there. Now is also the time to schedule time with Lehman’s ACE Center if you’re not totally confident about your writing ability. Also see the resources on the assignments page for some quick MLA formatting tips.
  • NY State’s voter registration deadline is approaching for the November elections. Download an application here (PDF). New applications must be postmarked by 10/12 and received by 10/17. Changes in political party affiliation deadline is 10/12. Address change deadline is 10/17. You can also register/change info in person. Full details at the Board of Elections website.

Recap from this week’s classes:

  • See my lecture notes on Piñero on the Lecture Notes page
  • Finished Piñero’s poetry
  • Intro to Short Eyes and historical contexts
  • See the short background clip on the 1971 Attica prison rebellion

Tuesday October 2: Finish reading Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243 in Outlaw) and watch the film version embedded below. Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Watch the film version of Piñero’s Short Eyes (1978). Piñero has a few scenes in the beginning as the fictional character Go Go. The famous soul vocalist Curtis Mayfield has a part also in addition to creating the soundtrack.

 

 

For Thursday, October 4, we’ll move to the first novel of the semester. Read pages 1-54 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

A few things to pay attention to in the book are:

  • The characters Quiñonez creates and what slice of city life they show
  • How urban space is shown in the book and what different characters think about their surroundings
  • The role of culture and what it means
  • Quiñonez’s relationship as a writer to Pietri and Piñero (there are numerous references to both and their poetry throughout the book)
  • The “American Dream” and what it means to the characters in the book
  • How different generations of immigrants/migrants relate to the city and city life
  • Race and gender relations

This isn’t a complete list, but these are a few key things that jump out at me. Begin to look for connections/ similarities / differences in things we’ve read (and other things you’ve read/ watched /studied in other classes, etc).

Presentation by: Sergio, Shawnette, and Lucero

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of September 25 (NIGHT Class): Miguel Piñero’s Poetry and Drama

201206181054540.Miguel_Pi_ero_noticel
Announcements:

  • Groups have been finalized for presentations. Contact me immediately via email if for some reason you’ve missed sign-ups!
  • Continue working on your paper, due Tuesday October 2nd.

Tuesday, September 25th: We continue with Miguel Piñero’s poetry from Outlaw: The Collected Works. Read the following:

  • “Mango Dreams”
  • “Bastard Streets”
  • “New York City Hard Times Blues”
  • “And Then Came Freedom to Dream”
  • “Running Scared”
  • “Seeking the Cause”

Also read the Introduction to the “Drama of Miguel Piñero” in the front of Outlaw

Again, it’s not a lot of reading, but you need to read the poems slowly and carefully. Take good notes and think about the questions above as you read.

Questions to think about as you read:

  • Based on Piñero’s biographical story, how do/don’t his stories match the life he’s living?
  • How does Piñero’s work differ from Pietri’s in form or content?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have on his poetry?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • How do the characters in Piñero’s descriptions of “Loisaida” (Lower East Side) differ from Pietri’s characters in El Barrio

For Thursday September 27th, Finish/Read “The Drama of Miguel Piñero” at the front of Outlaw and then read Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243). Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

 

Week of September 25 (DAY Class): Miguel Piñero’s Poetry and Drama

201206181054540.Miguel_Pi_ero_noticel
Announcements:

  • Groups have been finalized for presentations. Contact me immediately via email if for some reason you’ve missed sign-ups!
  • Continue working on your paper, due Tuesday October 2nd.

Tuesday, September 25th: We continue with Miguel Piñero’s poetry from Outlaw: The Collected Works. Read the following:

  • “Mango Dreams”
  • “Bastard Streets”
  • “New York City Hard Times Blues”
  • “And Then Came Freedom to Dream”
  • “Running Scared”
  • “Seeking the Cause”

Also read the Introduction to the “Drama of Miguel Piñero” in the front of Outlaw

Again, it’s not a lot of reading, but you need to read the poems slowly and carefully. Take good notes and think about the questions above as you read.

Questions to think about as you read:

  • Based on Piñero’s biographical story, how do/don’t his stories match the life he’s living?
  • How does Piñero’s work differ from Pietri’s in form or content?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have on his poetry?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • How do the characters in Piñero’s descriptions of “Loisaida” (Lower East Side) differ from Pietri’s characters in El Barrio

For Thursday September 27th, Finish/Read “The Drama of Miguel Piñero” at the front of Outlaw and then read Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243). Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of September 18 (NIGHT Class): Miguel Piñero’s Poetry

201206181054540.Miguel_Pi_ero_noticel
Announcements: We finalized the schedule for group presentations in Thursday’s class. If you’ve somehow missed signing up for a group, email me immediately to get that straightened out.

The assignment sheet for the first paper was handed out on Thursday. Download it from the Assignments Page if you were absent/lost yours.

On Tuesday 9/18 there are no classes scheduled (PDF!) because of Yom Kippur.

Thursday, September 18th: We move on to Miguel Piñero and read poetry selections from the book Outlaw: The Collected Works. Read the “Introduction to the Poetry of Miguel Piñero” at the beginning of the book.

  • Then read:
  • “La Bodega Sold Dreams”,
  • “A Lower East Side Poem”,
  • “The Lower East Side is Taking” (p. 65!)
  • “The Book of Genesis According to San Miguelito”,
  • “This is Not the Place Where I Was Born”,
  • “Black Woman With the Blond Wig On”,
  • “Kill, Kill, Kill”. (Up to page 17.)

It’s not a lot of reading, however, you must read the poems slowly and carefully and choose 2 of them to read more than once. Take notes on key points that you think are significant, funny, interesting, or do a nice job of telling the story of the city. As with Pietri, while reading the intro at the beginning of the book with Piñero’s bio, look for cues from his life story that show how he approached his writing.

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Watch Piñero read “Seeking the Cause”

Questions to think about as you read:

  • Based on Piñero’s biographical story, how do/don’t his stories match the life he’s living?
  • How does Piñero’s work differ from Pietri’s in form or content?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have on his poetry?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • How do the characters in Piñero’s descriptions of “Loisaida” (Lower East Side) differ from Pietri’s characters in El Barrio

Recap from this week’s class:

  • Finished Pedro Pietri’s Puerto Rican Obituary (See the Readings page for a PDF)

Week of September 18 (DAY Class): Miguel Piñero’s Poetry

201206181054540.Miguel_Pi_ero_noticel
Announcements: We finalized the schedule for group presentations in Thursday’s class. If you’ve somehow missed signing up for a group, email me immediately to get that straightened out.

The assignment sheet for the first paper was handed out on Thursday. Download it from the Assignments Page if you were absent/lost yours.

On Tuesday 9/18 there are no classes scheduled (PDF!) because of Yom Kippur.

Thursday, September 18th: We move on to Miguel Piñero and read poetry selections from the book Outlaw: The Collected Works. Read the “Introduction to the Poetry of Miguel Piñero” at the beginning of the book.

  • Then read:
  • “La Bodega Sold Dreams”,
  • “A Lower East Side Poem”,
  • “The Lower East Side is Taking” (p. 65!)
  • “The Book of Genesis According to San Miguelito”,
  • “This is Not the Place Where I Was Born”,
  • “Black Woman With the Blond Wig On”,
  • “Kill, Kill, Kill”. (Up to page 17.)

It’s not a lot of reading, however, you must read the poems slowly and carefully and choose 2 of them to read more than once. Take notes on key points that you think are significant, funny, interesting, or do a nice job of telling the story of the city. As with Pietri, while reading the intro at the beginning of the book with Piñero’s bio, look for cues from his life story that show how he approached his writing.

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Watch Piñero read “Seeking the Cause”

Questions to think about as you read:

  • Based on Piñero’s biographical story, how do/don’t his stories match the life he’s living?
  • How does Piñero’s work differ from Pietri’s in form or content?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have on his poetry?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • How do the characters in Piñero’s descriptions of “Loisaida” (Lower East Side) differ from Pietri’s characters in El Barrio

Recap from this week’s class:

  • Finished Pedro Pietri’s Puerto Rican Obituary (See the Readings page for a PDF)

Week of September 11: (NIGHT Class) Pedro Pietri continued

On Tuesday 9/11 there are no classes scheduled (PDF!) because of Rosh Hashanah. (l’shanah tovah!) Note that we’re also off the following Tuesday, 9/18.

For Thursday 9/13, we continue with Pedro Pietri…

Pedro Pietri reading at the Poetry Project
Pedro Pietri reading at the Poetry Project

Continue Pedro Pietri’s poetry from the book Puerto Rican Obituary from the same PDF on the Readings page as last week. (Re?)Read “Puerto Rican Obituary” and “The Broken English Dream”. Also read “Suicide Note from a Cockroach”, “Love Poem for My People”, “Unemployed” and “OD”.

Now that we’ve covered some of Pietri’s life, think about how points from his personal outlook on religion, death, and the ambivalence toward the American Dream are reflected in the poems. Again, look for specific points that reveal how he approaches the subjects and make a note of them.

Think of the following questions as you read:

  • How does Pietri’s writing define the urban experience for the people he’s writing about?
  • What type of urban environment does he describe?
  • What language does he use and how does that reflect the urban situation?
  • Do you see any of the points Pietri makes in the interview reflected in the writing? Make note of a few examples.

Announcements:

  • If you missed class on Thursday 9/6, email me to choose a date for a group presentation.
  • Look for an update next week for the following reading assignment, though note that we’ll be moving on to Piñero’s Outlaw, so be sure to get a copy.

Recap from this week’s classes:

  • Finished the Juan Flores essay (See the Readings page for a PDF)
  • Skimmed Pedro Pietri’s interview (PDF also on the Readings page)
  • Started Puerto Rican Obituary (PDF also on the Readings page)