Paul Nelson CTM/Lesley University Masters Study Plan
- Your name, address, telephone number, and email address
Paul Nelson, 908 I Street N.E. #4, Auburn, WA 98002, w – 253.735.6328, h-253.394.0097, [email protected]
- The proposed title of your area of specialization, and whether you plan to be working towards a certificate or a certificate and an M.A., M.Ed. or C.A.G.S. degree
Open Form in North American Poetry: A Path to Liberation. I intend to work toward an M.A.
- One Paragraph description of Major.
How an Open Form poetry writing discipline leads to a deepening of consciousness. In studying the North American Open Form lineage, including Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, George Bowering and others, I will define Open Form and Consciousness as used in this line of inquiry, will illustrate how the above named poets (and others) have used this mode of poetics to increase their own consciousness, and will show why, specifically, this mode deepens consciousness through the experience of these poets and my own experience.
What do I want to know and be able to do upon completion of my graduate program?
- I want to have a deep understanding of the Open-Form writing of North American poets and how writing (as a discipline) in this spontaneous, free-associative process enables the practitioner to deepen his/her own consciousness.
- I will have a basic understanding of some important Canadian practitioners of this method.
- I will begin the process of creating an anthology based on the processes herein described to elaborate as fully as possible the lineage of Open Form poets from Walt Whitman to poets writing today.
- I want to develop a sense of place utilizing Salish (and other indigenous) ways of knowing.
- I’ll complete no less than one phase of composition of an epic poem including Salish perspectives on place.
Specific learning goals
What knowledge do I need to have, what skills do I need to develop, and what do I need to study in order to accomplish my overall goals?
This is no less than a six semester process. At least ten essays on the material studied will be written during this process.
Title of specialization: Open Form in North American Poetry: A Path to Liberation
Paragraph description of specialization: How an Open Form poetry writing discipline leads to a deepening of consciousness. In studying the North American Open Form lineage, including Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, George Bowering and others, I will define Open Form and Consciousness as used in this line of inquiry, will illustrate how the above named poets (and others) have used this mode of poetics to increase their own consciousness, and will show why, specifically, this mode deepens consciousness through the experience of these poets and my own experience.
Team Members: Dr. Frank Trocco, Dr. David Thomson and Judith Roche.
Semester #1: Dates, number of credits, Theme/course title
August – December ’04. Six Credits. What is Open Form? Walt Whitman: Poet of Parturition.
Goals: To have a deep understanding of the power behind Walt Whitman’s work through re-reading of his poetry and a review of the most important works written about him and his work. To better understand other modes of knowing, especially Indigenous Northwest and Indigenous Tibetan models. To begin to articulate the line of inquiry through the practice of teaching writers at all levels of knowledge and experience. To re-visit interviews I have done with Open Form practitioners as a refresher course and to develop those materials for use in future workshops.
Activities: The focus of study will be a definition of Open Form poetry and of consciousness as used in this line of inquiry, how Walt Whitman pioneered a poetics unique to North America and how his work was a documentation of a transcendent experience. I will continue the process of writing A Time Before Slaughter, an epic poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, will gather more local information to be used in the poem and will begin to study consciousness. I will take a Consciousness and the Living Universe course through the Center for World Indigenous Studies, engage in other CTM Certificate activities,and Tibetan Bon workshops on Wickaninnish Island, BC. I will begin doing Kum Nye, the Tibetan Bon psycho-physical discipline. I will participate, again, in some manner, with the 3:15 writing experiment and write a short essay based on my experience and sources for the month’s poetry writing activities. I will conduct workshops in Port Townsend, White Center, and Calgary to better understand and articulate the material I am studying. At a 17 day writing residency at Centrum, I will write more of the Slaughter poem and review interviews I have done with Anne Waldman, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Michael McClure, Allen Ginsberg, Jerome Rothenberg and Ed Sanders and cull from those interviews selections that amplify parts of my inquiry.
Documentation: During this semester I will document my learning with a Annotated Bibliographic essay and essays entitled: What is Open Form Poetry; Walt Whitman Poet of Parturition; What Is Consciousness and The Tibetan View of Sound and Field Poetics. All essays will have relevant bibliographic citations including a summary, commentary, relevance to learning and references. These essays may be based on interviews of recognized scholars on the material covered.
Asselineau, Roger. The Evolution of Walt Whitman. Iowa City: U of Iowa Press, 1999.
Ballard, Arthur/ Watson, Greg. Mythology of Southern Puget Sound. North Bend,
Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum. 1999.
Berman, Morris. The Re-Enchantment of the World. Ithaca: Cornell, 1981.
Breslin, James. Whitman and the Early Development of William Carlos Williams.
PMLA, 1967, Dec; 1982.
Carpenter, Frederic. Walt Whitman’s Eidolon. College English, 1942.
Cuddy, Lois. Exploration of Whitman’s Eidolons. Detroit: Wayne State, 1973.
Eckrom, J.A. Remembered Drums: A History of the Puget Sound Indian War.
Walla Walla: Pioneer Press, 1989.
Flewelling, Stan. Shirakawa: Stories from a Pacific Northwest Japanese American
Community. Auburn: White River Valley Museum, 2002.
Gates, Rosemary. Forging an American Poetry from Speech Rhythms. Tel Aviv: Porter
Institute for Poetics, 1987.
Gelpi, Albert. The Poetics of Open Form: The Mixed Message of Whitman and Williams.
The Cast of Consciousness, 1987.
Hansard, Christopher. The Tibetan Art of Living. New York: Atria, 2001.
Pearce, Roy Harvey. ed., Whitman: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs:
Shapiro & Associates. The Mill Creek Drainage Basin: An Historical Overview of the
Lower Green River. Seattle: Submitted to Army Corps of Engineers, 1990.
Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. 1892 ed. New York: Bantam Classics, 1983.
Semester #2 Dates, number of credits, Theme/course title
January – May, 2005. Six credits. Writing Out of Hell: The Practice of William Carlos Williams
and My Latino Heritage.
Goals: I will have a deep understanding of Williams’ contribution to this poetic lineage through reading some of his most important works, will continue my study of the Tibetan Bon mode of knowing and Northwest Indigenous ways of knowing, will continue the process of open form poetry, especially with my own epic poem: A Time Before Slaughter and will investigate my own cultural connections through a ten day trip to Cuba and visit with my relatives there.
Activities: I will read the most relevant poetry of William Carlos Williams and critical reviews of his work to determine how he used his practice to achieve deeper states of consciousness. A trip to Cuba in Feb/March as part of Cultural Connections will occur and the process of developing a sense of place utilizing Salish ways of knowing will begin through CWIS activities, including the Protected Knowing Symposium March 25, and an interview with E. Richard Atleo of the Nuu-chah-nulth tradition. I’ll also take the first steps in identifying the process(es) that quantify the level of consciousness facilitated by the spontaneous writing process. Continuing the writing of A Time Before Slaughter and gathering more local information to be used in the book. I will participate in the Poets-in-the-Park event as a Panel Moderator, Featured Reader and Workshop Facilitator, will teach a workshop at Eastlake High School, participate in the Walla Walla Poetry Party, and the Burning Word Festival.
Documentation: I will document my learning through essays on William Carlos Williams (Writing Out of Hell: The Practice of William Carlos Williams), (a response by Amalio Madueño,) on the Nuu-chah-nulth way of knowing and how it relates to this line of inquiry (The Oosumich of Open Form), and through letters from workshop participants. A photographic journal of my Cuba trip will be kept along with at least one poem written daily about this experience and a ten page poem reflecting on the experience.
Atleo, Richard. Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004.
Breslin, James. William Carlos Williams and the Whitman Tradition. PMLA, 1967.
Carter, Steven. Reversible Syntax vs. Irreversible Time: Nonlinear Dynamics and the
Poetics of Open Form. The Language Quarterly, 1993.
Chomsky, Noam/Dietrich, Heinz. Latin America: From Colonization to Globalization.
New York: Ocean, 1999.
Hansard, Christopher. The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking. London: Hodden-Mobius,
Lloyd, Margaret Glynne. William Carlos Williams’s Paterson: A Critical Reappraisal.
Cranbery, NJ.: Associated University Presses, Inc., 1980.
Mariani, Paul. William Carlos Williams: The Poet and His Critics. Chicago: American
Library Association, 1975.
Miller, Jay. Lushootseed Culture and the Shamanic Odyssey: An Anchored Radiance.
Lincoln: U. of Nebraska Press, 1999.
Ornstein, Robert. The Psychology of Consciousness. San Francisco: SF Press, 1975.
Vine, Josie Emmons. Auburn: A Look Down Main Street. Auburn, WA: City of
Williams, William Carlos. Selected Poems. 8th Ed. New York: New Directions, 1985.
Williams, William Carlos. The Collected Later Poems. New York: New Directions,
Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. 3rd Ed. New York: New Directions, 1963.
Williams, William Carlos. Pictures From Brueghel. 3rd Ed., New York: New
Williams, William Carlos. Selected Essays. 6th Ed. New York: New Directions, 1969.
Semester #3: Dates, number of credits, Theme/course title
September – December ’05. Six Credits. Olson’s Process and Stance Toward Reality.
Goals: To have a deep understanding of the work of Charles Olson and discover why his poetics are critical to the shift from a Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm to one organismic in nature. To better understand the nature of a discipline in writing short poems, how it relates to my line of inquiry, and to credibly teach that to an audience made up of people who specialize in writing short poems. I will also begin study of the Canadian Open Form tradition.
Activities: I will study the poetry, poetics and consciousness of Charles Olson, specifically his articulation and practice of Open Form, as well as his use of history in poetry. I will also study relevant criticism of his poetry and poetics. A Time Before Slaughter writing activities and information gathering will continue, as well as study of the Tibetan Bon mode of knowing. I will participate, again, in some manner, with the 3:15 writing experiment and write a short essay based on my experience and sources for the month’s poetry writing activities. The beginning study of Canadian Open Form practitioners will occur through a week-long workshop at the Victoria School of Writing. I will also present a paper at the Haiku North American conference in September and conduct a workshop based on that paper.
Documentation: I will demonstrate with essays on Olson’s contribution to the Open Form tradition, in his poetry and poetics: Dualism and Olson’s Antidote, and The Sound of the Field, through an essay on American Sentences, ( American Sentences: Catching the Shadow of the Moment (Chronicling Post-Modern Velocity)), through a response to an essay in response to “Free Market Verse” by Steve Evans, entitled: Changing a Culture and through an interview with George Bowering on Open Form in Canada, which I will later use as the basis for an essay. I will present a letter from a workshop taught at Highline Community College and will present poems and a short essay on an Open Form poetry collaboration with two other poets using the paintings of Debra Van Tuinen as inspiration.
Bram, Shahar. Charles Olson and Alfred North Whitehead: An Essay on Poetry.
Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2004.
Olson, Charles. Human Universe. (Collected Prose) Berkeley: California Press, 1997.
Olson, Charles. Proprioception. . (Collected Prose) Berkeley: California Press, 1997.
Olson, Charles. The Maximus Poems. Berkeley: California Press, 1983.
Olson, Charles. The Maximus Poems. Berkeley: California Press, 1983.
Paul, Sherman. Olson’s Push. Baton Rouge; LSU Press, 1978.
Upledger, John. Cell Talk. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 2003.
von Hallberg, Robert. Charles Olson: The Scholar’s Art. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1978.
Semester #4: Dates, number of credits, Theme/course title
January ’06 – May ’06. Six Credits. The Opening of the Field: Duncan’s Organic Poetry.
Goals: I will have a deep understanding of the Robert Duncan’s poetry and poetics, specifically his articulation and practice of Open Form, as well as his articulation of individuation through poetry and poetics.
Activities: I will read Duncan’s relevant work extensively, as well as criticism of his work and will conduct workshops in Mill Creek, Oak Harbor and at the Washington State’s Cultural Congress in Leavenworth. I will participate in the Skagit River Poetry Festival and the &Now Literary Arts Conference at Lake Forest College in Illinois where I will present a paper relevant to my studies.
Documentation: An essay entitled Organic Poetry will be written, as well as one on the Letters of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov entitled: Evolving The Organic. I’ll get letters documenting my approach to teaching open form and my understanding of the material and the stance toward poem-making.
King County Youth Services Center
Washington State Cultural Congress
Plateau Area Writer’s Association
Jarnot, Lisa. Robert Duncan: The Ambassador from Venus. Chicago: Chicago Review,
Duncan, Robert. Letters. Chicago: Fife, 2003.
Duncan, Robert. Selected Poems. New York: New Directions, 1993.
Duncan, Robert. The Opening of the Field. New York: Evergreen, 1960.
Duncan, Robert. Bending the Bow. New York: New Directions, 1968.
Duncan, Robert, Levertov, Denise. The Letters of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov,
Stanford: Stanford Press, 2004.
Schwartz, Leonard. Robert Duncan and His Inheritors. Talisman: A Journal of
Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, 23-26 (2001-2002), pp. 64-81.
Semester #5: Dates, number of credits, Theme/course title
September – December ’06. Six Credits. Deep Consciousness: Building a Soul Through a Writing Practice.
Goals: I will have a deep understanding of the poetry and poetics of Michael McClure, especially as it relates to the effort to use an open form practice to deepen one’s consciousness, as well as a deep understanding of the work of George Bowering and the factors behind the movement of the Open Form front from San Francisco to Vancouver by the mid-60’s.
Activities: I will write Inside Dolphin Skull an essay on Michael McClure’s long poem and one on George Bowering on topics consistent with my line of inquiry, will study in Canada, to write essays and conduct interviews with George Bowering , Robin Blaser, as well as Sam Hamill and others involved in this lineage, will attend the Blaser book launch, continue with workshop facilitation, and study and practice of Tibetan Bon ways of knowing.
Documentation: I will write essays on Michael McClure (Deep Consciousness: Inside Michael McClure’s Dolphin Skull) and George Bowering Crafting the Organic Poem: George Bowering’s Kerrisdale Elegies, I will conduct workshops and get letters from organizers demonstrating my grasp of the subject matter and my ability to articulate it.
Hawkins, David. Power vs. Force. 6th Ed. Sedona: Veritas Press, 2004.
McClure, Michael. Three Poems. New York: Penguin Poets, 1995.
Blaser, Robin. The Recovery of the Public World: Essays on Poetics in Honor of Robin
Blaser. Vancouver: Talon, 2000.
Blaser, Robin. The Practice of Outside. The Collected Books of Jack Spicer. Santa
Rosa: Black Sparrow, 1999.
Bowering, George. George Bowering Selected: Poems 1961 -1992. Toronto:
McClelland & Stewart, 1993.
Semester #6: Dates, number of credits, Theme/course title
December ’06 – May ’07. Six Credits. Organic Poetry.
Goals: I will develop a web anthology with all my writings on the subject/s, as well as links to other relevant essays and poems. I will create no less than a 25 page Introduction/Essay, suitable for teaching college-level Literature, which will cull all the wisdom gleaned from this line of inquiry and present it in a credible, academic manner.
Activities: The website will be posted at Organic Poetry.org and will include essays written during my studies, and eventually links to other relevant essays. An introductory essay on what I’ve learned will be written, including: History, Definitions, Consciousness, Examples and Explication of a poem.