Video Poems and Stories

Video Poems & Stories

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  • Title: Video Poems & Stories
  • Instructor: Jeffery Oliver
  • Course, Section: CWLA A259, 601
  • CRN: 76792
  • Dates: September 1 - October 14, 2011
  • Thursdays 5:30-7:45pm
  • University of Alaska Anchorage, Admin Bldg., Room 146

video poemThe first week of this class we're going take a look at the various ways we experience literature and look at how writers use images to inspire our imaginations and that create vivid and memorable stories and poems.

The class meets in a computer lab and starting the second week we're going to discuss how to make decisions about adding images and audio to stories and poems and then we'll jump right in to working on the first assignment which is to “illustrate” a poem or story using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Apple Keynote.

video poemWe're going to go over the basics of these software tools in class. If you can surf the web and use Microsoft Word and iTunes comfortably, you're going to do great in this class.

The third week we'll read our poems or stories to one another and show our presentations while we read. I don't expect that after one week we'll have highly-polished presentations—the idea is to experience presenting stories and poems in a way that's likely new to you.

In the second part of the class, we'll talk about adding the element of time in the presentation of our poems and stories. We'll create an outline, called a storyboard, that will help us organize the images and sounds we want to use to create our video poems and stories.

video poemWe'll go through the basics of using some common video editing tools like Windows Moviemaker and iMovie and we'll work on our video poems and stories in class.

We'll briefly discuss photography and shooting video for people who want to record their own material. I'll also show how easy it is to use a smart phone or a point-and-click camera to capture photos and videos and I'll introduce some online sources for free images, audio, and videos that we'll be able to use in our projects.

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Software and Experience

No video experience is required. No special software experience is required.

If you can surf the web and use Microsoft Word and iTunes comfortably, you're going to do well in this class.

Students should be able to successfully complete all class assignments using Powerpoint and Keynote and we'll cover the basics of these thoroughly in class.

I'm also going to introduce using Garage Band for basic audio editing and iMovie for basic video editing. Students welcomed to explore other software tools as well.

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Official Class Description

video poemClass: CWLA A259.601
Title: Video Poems & Stories
CRN: 76792

In this class, students will learn how to identify poems and stories for digital illustration and how to present these using software such as PowerPoint, QuickTime, Garage Band and iMovie. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the elements of literary craft that create powerful associations for readers such as image, metaphor and tone and how photos, video and/or sounds can be used to enhance the experience of the poem or story.

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Jeffery Oliver received his MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Arts with an emphasis in poetry December 2008. He has published poems, stories, videos, and essays in print and online. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Yes, I've made video poems.

Questions or comments? Contact me at

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Register for "Video Poems & Stories" at

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