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English 406: The Poet in Paris 2015


Dates:  May -June, 2015 (approximate)

Airfare: $1,500 (as of October, 2014)

Note: Students should wait to purchase airline tickets until instructed to do so, as courses may be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Accommodations: $1,700

Meals, and Miscellaeous: $1,500

The Poet in Paris will offer an intermediate/advanced-level course in poetry writing to undergraduate creative-writing majors (and non-majors with the approval of the instructor) in Paris, France, over the month-long Maymester term. This workshop is intended for mature undergraduates, with some travel experience, able to assimilate other cultures and arts in a major metropolitan city, and who are able to make arrangements at their own expense for transportation, lodging, and meals. More information will be found in this syllabus under “Logistics.”


Students will participate in poetry workshops, three mornings each week for three hours, where we will critique poems written in English while we study as models the works of both French an American poets. Students with an intermediate knowledge of French will also be given translation exercises. Texts will include Paul Auster’s Random House Book of 20th Century French Poetry, along with poems by the French Symbolists, and books by contemporary American and French poets. Various writing assignments, including an ekphrastic exercise, will utilize the rich museum and gallery scene in Paris.


Immersion into the Parisian culture and deep historical landscape should serve as a catalyst for students to broaden their vision and range as writers, and also to hear their own language more clearly.  They will meet with other poets and artists, attend readings and art openings, and visit the Collège de France, and Paris American Academy, where some of our classes may be held. Fluency in French is not a requirement but a keen interest and desire to learn the language can heighten a writer’s work.


Application: To apply for this program, complete the application and submit with your current STARS report to the English Department by November 3, 2014.

For more information, please contact Professor Mark Irwin at or Professor Green at  You may also view the previous students' blog here.

Link to the English Department website here.