Sept. 7-13, 2001
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Poetry writing added to English major

By Robert Brickhouse

The University is offering an intensive two-year parogram in poetry writing this fall as one of the concentrations for English majors.

The new program will allow talented undergraduate writers to pursue serious study of the craft of poetry as part of the English major and to work with several well-known poets who teach at U.Va. Enrollment is limited to approximately 16 students selected in a competitive process.

“The study of poetry and poetry writing has been extremely popular with our students,” said Lisa Russ Spaar, who directs the program and also is director of U.Va.’s graduate Creative Writing Program. “We think the program will be both a good way to study literature and to develop as a young writer.”

In addition to Spaar, other U.Va. poets with whom students may study include Stephen Cushman, Gregory Orr, Debra Nystrom and Pulitzer Prize-winners Rita Dove and Charles Wright.

Students in the program must take 30 hours of upper-level English literature courses, as well as advanced poetry workshops and two special seminars designed to increase their understanding of poetry and creative work. The first seminar offered this fall will be a study of poetry sequences by such writers as William Blake, Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare and John Berryman.


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