Free Verse and Poetic Forms

May 2005

I'm not really sure how to describe Emily Fragos. She is like one of those old crazy homeless people that you are kind of freaked out by at first, but that grows on you, like a big ugly mole that you eventually call a beauty mark after trimming off the nasty hairs that are growing out of it. She doesn't give much written feedback, but in class she is honest and blunt about her feelings. If a poem sucks, she's not going to pretend it doesn't. But if you're the poet of the sucky poem, she won't make you cry either, she'll just tell it as it is and make you and everyone else laugh at your shitty & cliched writing. Also, if you have another older woman in your class, you may be graced with the old hag bickering that takes place for a good part of each class. You won't love Emily, but you will be challenged and entertained and will want to make your poems really good so that she doesn't make fun of you in class. Also, she manages to get to almost everyone's poem each class, which is pretty incredible. While a no-bullshit poetry class may seem like a contradiction, Emily manages to pull it off.

May 2004

Professor Green (or Josh, as he prefers you call him) changed the way I write. He focuses not on the product but the writing process, and encourages you to go beyond the style you are set in- to test the limits of syntax, grammar, and usage and really play with the language. He is extremely well-versed (pun fully intended) in poetry and brings a lot of scholarship to his consideration of student work. I went into Josh's class having written poetry since age 10 and with a portfolio pretty similar all the way through, being prone to excessive modifiers and cliched arrangements of language. I left it with a portfolio stocked with many different types of poetry, and with a much more provocative and personal style. Don't miss out on the chance to study with Professor Green- he is a true lover of reading and writing poetry, and has a Shakespearean goatee to match.