My lower division course on early Brit Lit had low, low enrollment, so I got reassigned to an Intro to Lit course. I was expecting it, and it's okay by me.
I was talking to a colleague (who's a person of color and a campus leader in anti-racism work), thinking about what to teach, and we thought about how it would be to teach only literature by people of color.
For me, it would be a challenge. It would be a lot of work, because I usually teach really dead folks from England. I don't teach more modern stuff often, not poetry, nor novels, nor short stories, nor drama. And most writing by people of color in English is more modern.
But my colleague was encouraging me, and I just might do it.
I've got three dramas that would do well, and that I've taught before, Raisin in the Sun, M. Butterfly, and What Mama Said. And there are plenty of short stories, some of which I've taught before. My colleague suggested a novel.
But poetry? I was thinking initially of reading some poems by and trying to Skype in a poet I know. So, I'd appreciate suggestions for poetry. I especially would appreciate some sonnets, because I find teaching sonnets a good way to get into poetry. For me, the strict form helps me read the verse, and that helps me teach verse, and that helps me teach non-formal poetry, too.
I'm also thinking of teaching Persepolis. I've never taught a graphic novel before, but I've read it, and it's really interesting.
So, wisdom of the internet, what poems would you teach? What short stories? What novel?