Jay Parini
Office
Axinn Center 203
Tel
(802) 443-5042
Email
parini@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Fall 2022: Tues/Thurs 12-1pm and 4:30-5:30pm. And by appointment.

Courses Taught

Course Description

The Structure of Poetry
This course is a workshop for beginning students in the field of creative writing. Students will read a selection of poems each week and write their own poems, producing a portfolio of their work at the end of the term. There will be an emphasis on revision. Students will be introduced to a range of forms as well, including prose poems, epistles, the tanka, the long poem, and the sonnet. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Workshop: Poetry
This course is an advanced workshop for students who have already done some work in poetry and are committed to the challenge of continued artistic development. Students will write a new poem each week, and revise at least eight of these for inclusion in a final chapbook project. Readings will include craft essays as well as several recent poetry collections by writers such as Hanif Abdurraqib and Natalie Diaz. Students must have completed (CRWR 0175 or instructor approval). 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Special Project: Creative Writing
Approval Required.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Modern Poetry
This course will examine the nature and achievement of the major modern poets of Britain and America during the modern period, beginning with the origins of poetic modernism in the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman. The central figures to be studied are William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and W.H. Auden. The course will conclude with a look at some after-echoes of modernism in the work of Elizabeth Bishop and others. Two papers, one exam, with occasional oral presentations in class 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

LIT

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Course Description

Poetry and the Spiritual Tradition
In this course we will examine the long and intimate connection between poetry and spirituality, looking especially at the influence of Christian thinking on such English and American poets as John Donne, George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and T.S. Eliot. The course will begin with a study of the King James Version of the Book of Psalms, which deeply affected later British and American poetry. We will also read early Taoist and Islamic poets, including Lao Tse and Rumi. The course will conclude with a look at the work of several contemporary poets: Charles Wright, Louis Glück, and Mary Oliver. While this course is primarily online, on-campus students will have opportunities to meet in person with fellow students and the professor in small groups and during office hours, if circumstances allow. Off-campus students will be accommodated with additional optional online opportunities to connect. 3 hrs. lct.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020

Requirements

CMP, LIT, PHL

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Course Description

Batter My Heart: Religious Poetry from the Psalms to Mary Oliver
In this seminar we will look closely at some of the major religious poets (broadly defined to include a variety of traditions) in the course of English and American poetry from the 17th century writers John Donne and George Herbert to the contemporary American poet Mary Oliver. Major figures will look at include Donne, Herbert, Wordsworth, Hopkins, Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Charles Wright, and Mary Oliver. There will be prose selections from various poets and spiritual writers, including Emerson.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

LIT, PHL

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Course Description

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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Course Description

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the Senior Thesis Workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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Course Description

Senior Essay: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Terms Taught

Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Poetry and the Spiritual Tradition
In this course we will examine the long and intimate connection between poetry and spirituality, looking especially at the influence of Christian thinking on such English and American poets as John Donne, George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and T.S. Eliot. The course will begin with a study of the King James Version of the Book of Psalms, which deeply affected later British and American poetry. We will also read early Taoist and Islamic poets, including Lao Tse and Rumi. The course will conclude with a look at the work of several contemporary poets: Charles Wright, Louis Glück, and Mary Oliver. While this course is primarily online, on-campus students will have opportunities to meet in person with fellow students and the professor in small groups and during office hours, if circumstances allow. Off-campus students will be accommodated with additional optional online opportunities to connect. 3 hrs. lct. (Formerly ENAM 0316)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, LIT, PHL

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required. (Formerly ENAM 0500)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the Senior Thesis Workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term. (Formerly ENAM 0700)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Publications

Singing in Time. Dundee (Scotland): J.W.B. Laing, 1972.  (poems)

Theodore Roethke:  An American Romantic. Amherst, MA:  University of Massachusetts Press, 1979. (criticism)

The Love Run. Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1980. (novel)

Anthracite Country. New York: Random House, 1982. (poems)

The Patch Boys. New York: Henry Holt, 1986. (novel)

An Invitation to Poetry. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1987. (textbook)

Town Life. New York:  Henry Holt, 1988. (poems)

The Last Station. New York: Henry Holt, 1990. (novel)

Bay of Arrows. New York:  Henry Holt, 1992. (novel)

Columbia History of American Poetry, editor, with Brett Millier.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1994.

Columbia Anthology of American Poetry (1995), editor.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1995.

John Steinbeck:  A Biography. New York:  Henry Holt, 1995.

Gore Vidal: Writer Against the Grain, editor.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1996. (criticism)

Benjamin’s Crossing. New York:  Henry Holt, 1996. (novel)

Some Necessary Angels: Essays on Literature and Politics. New York:  Columbia University Press„ 1997. (criticism)

Beyond “The Godfather” : Italian American Writers on the Real Italian American Experience, editor, with A. Kenneth Ciongoli.  Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1997.

House of Days. New York:  Henry Holt, 1998. (poems)

The Norton Book of American Autobiography, editor.  New York:  W.W. Norton, 1998.

Robert Frost: A Life. New York:  Henry Holt, 1999.

The Apprentice Lover. New York:  HarperCollins, 2002. (novel)

Passage to Liberty: The Story of Italian Immigration and the Rebirth of America, with A. Kenneth Ciongoli.  New York:  Random House, 1992.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature (2004) – four volumes, editor.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2004.

World Writers in English, editor. New York:  Scribner, 2004.

One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner. New York:  HarperCollins, 2004.

The Art of Teaching. New York:  Oxford University Press, 2005.

The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems. New York:  Braziller, 2005.

The Wadsworth Anthology of Poetry, editor.  Boston:  Wadsworth, 2005.

Why Poetry Matters. New Haven, CT:  Yale  University Press, 2008. (criticism)

Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America. New York:  Doubleday, 2008. (criticism)

Last Steps:  Late Writings of Leo Tolstoy, editor.  London and New York:  Penguin, 2009.