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, read the play Short Eyes in Outlaw: [Reading questions and additional instructions to be added]

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!

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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, read the play Short Eyes in Outlaw: [Reading questions and additional instructions to be added]

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 February 27 (NIGHT class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Keep (start?) working on the first written assignment that’s due Friday 3/9. (Note that this is a change from the date listed on the syllabus!) 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.

Recap from this week’s class:

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

Tuesday February 27: 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, March 1, 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).

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 February 27 (DAY class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Keep (start?) working on the first written assignment due Friday March 9. 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.

Recap from this week’s class:

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

Tuesday February 27: 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, March 1, 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).

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 February 20 (NIGHT class): Miguel Piñero’s Plays: Short Eyes

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Next Tuesday is a Monday schedule in CUNY, so we only meet Thursday.
  • Also: you should have signed up for a group presentation in class. If you haven’t, contact me immediately. I’ll send an email to connect all the members and some additional instructions within the next week. Instruction sheet is on the assignments page
  • If you missed class on Thursday 2/15 see the assignments page for the first written assignment, due Friday March 9 via email

Tuesday 2/20: Monday schedule–class doesn’t meet. 

Thursday 2/22: 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. Note: there’s a glossary at the end of the play–use it for unfamiliar terms.

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 legendary singer Curtis Mayfield sing one of the songs from the film version (he also had a small part in the film and composed/performed the soundtrack).

Watch the preview for a 2012 production of the play in Los Angeles.

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!