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Whitman and Williams: Contact, Utopia

ENGL 559.301

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) and William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) meet and diverge at some of the most interesting loci in modern poetic history: the nation, the body, the vernacular; periodization, influence, vocation; the material, the local, the global, the futural.  They’ve been corralling and dispersing American poetry and poetics for generations--and for generations to come.  In this course, we’ll watch them do so in our comprehensive, comparative study of each author’s oeuvre, along with occasional forays into the works of their various comrades and nemeses.  Requirements will include an in-class presentation and some shorter writing assignments.  Also, because the relation of WW to WCW, not to mention their respective influences on contemporary writing, have not been that thoroughly explored, and given the recent migration of the electronic journal *Jacket 2* to the Kelly Writers House, there may be the possibility for the class to curate together a set of articles.

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