This pod brings together natural science and humanities through the transdisciplinary study of natural history and the creative process of writing poetry. We move from deep time to present as we piece together the vertebrate story, through the scientific lenses of evolutionary biology and zoology. We practice naturalist skills of field observation, field journaling, and scientific illustration, which complement and inspire the art and verbal imagery of poetic writing.
Enrollment Requirements and Options:
Students in this pod may enroll in online coursework. There is also a possibility of a student serving as a TA for Vertebrate Natural History
This pod includes the following courses:
Vertebrate Natural History 4 cr
In this course, we follow the evolutionary history of the vertebrates– the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds — from our humble origins in ancient oceans to the stunning diversity found throughout the world today. We explore the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations that distinguish the vertebrate classes, and the ecological conditions that led them to arise. Along the journey from deep time to present, we delve into each vertebrate class in depth, focusing on modern species that occur right here in Craftsbury. We study the Sterling College zoological collection, and practice field observation and identification of local vertebrate wildlife. Students will emerge from the course with biological knowledge, natural history skills, and a deeper understanding of themselves as vertebrate animals.
Creative Writing: Poetry 2 cr
In this course you will be working to find your voice as poets, to find the great poems lurking inside you, and through exercises, readings, and workshop learn how to make those poems come alive. The purpose of this course is to help you develop your creative muscle, and to expand the boundaries of your imagination. We will work on the ability to play with language, to be flexible, and above all to be courageous. The readings, exercises, and guided writing assignments are designed to inspire you to write from the luminous, mysterious, unconscious center–to guide you to make magic of it, make it conscious, give it a voice. The course will include study of various craft techniques and concerns in poetry along with exploration of contemporary versions of some traditional forms.
You will be writing a new poem every week, reading and analyzing poems by various poets, participating in writing workshop, and overall immersing yourself in poetry with the goal of producing a substantial body of work by the end of the semester. The course will emphaize writing, revising, workshopping, and assembling manuscripts of finished work.