Friday, May 21, 2010

Rainy Day Writing Plans

It is another rainy day here in Western North Carolina. The semester is over and summer is here. Time to prepare for my senior year, which among other things, is now going to include a creative undergraduate research project. R, my writing "guru," has agreed to assist me with my project and has shared my enthusiasm for it. I am going to attempt to get into the national conference for undergraduate research, and hope to graduate with the distinction of an undergraduate research scholar.
Okay, that stuff probably sounds incredibly dull to 101%of people reading this, now here's the exciting part: the research project will focus on Anne Sexton and the evolution of confessional poetry. I am studying her collected works, reading her biography, and her correspondence. I also have a slew of books and articles to sift through. My research process generally consists of collecting the material and poring over it for several weeks before selecting my sources. The paper will be roughly 8 single spaced pages and it will explore the roots of confessional poetry, Sexton's poetry, and what constitutes confessional poetry in the 21st century.
The project will also include a collection of original poems, written by me, which are influenced by my study of Sexton's work. I already have one and one half poems written in this vein. The second one is likely going to start off quite long like many of her pieces. It may need to be edited down though. I am hoping to begin working with my writer's group in the next couple of weeks to get feedback on these poems. We'll also be studying for fall exams.
I certainly have enough life challenges going on right now to make for some expressive autobiographical work. However, I am trying to put a 21st century spin on the tradition, not parrot it. This is going to be an interesting exercise I think, and a worthwhile pursuit. The project abstract is due in early November and the symposium is next spring, so I'll have a jump start on my research for sure!

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