PAC Syllabus 2018-2019


Richard Blanco reading at the Margulies Collection

IDH 3034 (Fall) and IDH 3035 (Spring)
Fridays 10:00 to 12:45 (10:00AM – 12:45PM)

Richard Blanco ■ ■ Office Hours by appointment
John William Bailly ■  ■ Office Hours by appointment

Teaching Assistants
Valerie Villa/Rachel Young

Poetry Art Community (PAC) is a seminar created and taught by Richard Blanco and John William Bailly. PAC explores the living dialogue between community and the literary and visual arts, and the civic role they can (ought to) play in the public realm with respect to matters that affect us collectively: gender, sexuality, class, diversity, and race. Through service learning projects and exploration of local cultural landmarks and institutions, students will investigate/experience the relationships between community and the arts.In addition, they will be instructed on the fundamental craft techniques of writing poetry and visual arts, and create their own poems and drawings as a means of exploring community through the lens of their own creativity. Serving as cultural co-agents, students will also engage with accomplished poets and artists to produce, curate, and host a public literary and arts salon that will feature poetry readings, visual art, and videography centered on the themes surveyed throughout the course.

NOTE: Course content features sexually explicit and/or violent artworks and texts. In addition, many Miami class meetings are off campus; students must provide their own transportation.

The following required text course materials may be purchased in either print or e-book format. Films are available at either FIU Libraries or Miami-Dade County Public Libraries.

McGrath, Campbell. Florida Poems. HarperCollins, 2003.


The following is a tentative course calendar for the FALL SEMESTER (Spring semester yet to be finalized). The Course Calendar will be on Google Calendar and updated periodically. Students will be provided with a link to calendar.

August 23:  Lecture/Discussion:  Culture Wars (Bailly)
August 30: Lecture on Craft/History of Poetry (Blanco)
September 6:  Lecture on Craft/History of Poetry (Blanco)
September 13:Class Visit to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

September 20:  Lecture on Craft/History of Poetry (Blanco)
September 27:To be determined.
October 4:Class Visit to History Miami Museum

October 11:Class Visit to The Deering Estate

October 18:  Poetry Workshop (tentative)
October 20 (Saturday):  Intimate Poetry Reading at The Deering Estate
October 25:  Poetry Workshop (tentative)
November 1:Class Visit to Vizcaya Village:

November 8:  To be determined
November 14 (WEDNESDAY):  Evening Poetry Reading at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
November 15:NO CLASS in lieu of poetry reading on November 14th
November 22:  Make-Up Day-to be determined.
November 29:Lecture/Discussion:  Art History (Bailly)
December 8 (Saturday—Final Exams Week): Morning Visit to the Untitled Art Fair

Poetry Writing and Drawing Assignments:  You will be formally instructed on some of the craft techniques of writing poetry and will be given 2 poetry writing assignments and 2 drawing assignments (per semester) related to the experiences encountered during the course. Poems and drawings will not be graded on “talent,” per se, but rather on effort; they will also be critiqued in group workshop sessions.

Vizcaya Reading Project: 20 points
Vizcaya Poem & Drawing I: 20 points
Vizcaya Poem & Drawing II: 20 points
Miami as Text: 20 points
Quizzes: 20 points

PAC Reading Project: 20 points
PAC Poem & Drawing I: 20 points
PAC Poem & Drawing II: 20 points
Miami as Text: 20 points
Quizzes: 20 points

Class Participation Criteria
Class participation is a critical component of this course. This does not mean simply speaking in class, although that is essential. You should participate by actively following discussions and contributing to our semester-long conversation, including critique of other students’ poems and drawings during workshop sessions.

  1. participation in class discussions
  2. attendance to class and class excursions
  3. preparation for class
  4. concentration in class (no texting, no sleeping, and so forth)

Each student accrues points over the length of the semester. The final semester point total equals a letter grade based the official FIU grade scale (Note: Please disregard the Blackboard percentage).

Final grade/total points equivalency
100.0 – 93.00: A
92.99 – 90.00: A-
89.99 – 87.00: B+
86.99 – 83.00: B
82.99 – 80.00: B-
79.99 – 77.00: C+
76.99 – 73.00: C
72.99 – 70.00: C-
69.99 – 67.00: D+
66.99 – 63.00: D
62.99 – 60.00: D-
59.99 – 00.00: F

Each student is allowed one absence per semester. Every absence in excess of this will drop the student’s final semester grade by one full letter grade. Three or more absences will result in an “F” for the semester.

Registration in this course implies an acceptance of and compliance with the Honors College policies for students and the FIU Code of Academic Integrity.

Beginning in Fall 2014, Honors College students are required to accumulate at least 20 citizenship points each academic year (Fall and Spring) by attending Honors College activities. Students attending only one semester (Fall or Spring) are required to accumulate 10 citizenship points. See

Community Service Requirements
All Honors College students must complete at least 20 volunteer service hours per academic year (fall/spring).  The best way to be involved is by working with the City of Sweetwater via our unique Honors College-Sweetwater Partnership. Opportunities there include tutoring, working with the Senior Citizens’ Center, offering citizenship classes, and helping the Li’l Abner Foundation’s work with children. Other opportunities include working with virtually any non-profit organization and campus fundraising projects. To document your community service hours, log onto MyHonors. Volunteer hours DO NOT count toward the 20 citizenship points. See

The Honors College will be using a portfolio method to assess students’ learning outcomes. The portfolio allows for maximum flexibility in gauging student learning. Students decide (with instructor consultation) what “artifacts” or assignments to include for consideration in their portfolios to demonstrate successful achievement of each of five key student learning outcomes over the 4-year Honors experience. See

The HEARTS program is designed to give Honors College students opportunities to “explore and appreciate different artistic and cultural traditions and modes of artistic expression. HEARTS will also serve as a clearinghouse (and curatorial framework) for our students to experience the arts on campus and in the community by providing them with information about cultural activities and access to performances with free or discounted tickets. See

In The Honors College, the term “honor” refers both to academic accomplishment and character. Students in Honors should therefore adhere to and be held to the highest standards of personal academic accountability. Academic dishonesty in any form, including plagiarism, is antithetical to the very definition of being an Honors student at FIU. Consequently, an Honors College student found responsible for academic misconduct will be dismissed from the College.

An Honors faculty member may bring charges of academic misconduct against an Honors student if the faculty member suspects plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct.  The faculty member will decide whether to pursue informal resolution, file formal resolution charges, or take no further action, and will follow the procedures outlined in the Honors College website (, and the Academic Misconduct Procedures, available at

Please refer to the following documents for additional information:
FIU Code of Academic Integrity –

College Student Handbook –

Upper Division classes have been designated as Global Learning courses. For questions regarding GL requirements, please contact Allen Varela at the Honors College.


Global Awareness:  Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the interrelatedness of local, global, international, and intercultural issues, trends, and systems.
Course Learning Outcome:  Students will demonstrate knowledge of the interrelated global dynamics (social-cultural, political, economic, etc.) that shape aesthetics, values, and authority in diverse cultural contexts.
Global Perspectives:  Students will be able to develop a multi-perspective analysis of local, global, international, and intercultural problems.
Course Learning Outcome:  Students will be able to analyze the multiple global forces that shape their understanding of aesthetics, values, and authority — economic, political, sociological, technological, cultural, etc.
Global Engagement:  Students will be able to demonstrate a willingness to engage in local, global, international, and intercultural problem solving.
Course Learning Outcome:  Students will be able to develop solutions to local, global, international, and/or intercultural problems related to aesthetics, values, and authority.

John William Bailly & Richard Blanco 10 August 2018

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