This course offers a various, fast-paced "tour" of modern American poetry, from the first inklings of modernist experiment in Dickinson and Whitman through the "postmodern" poems of this very day. (Toward the end of the course we will be reading poetry so recent that it will actually have been written since the day the course itself began!) Students will learn, in a great variety of ways, how to define "modernism" and how to navigate a course from modernism to postmodernism. Through the marvels of the new media, we will meet some of the poets and critics whose work we are studying. We will also "affiliate" with the hot poetry "scene" of the Kelly Writers House (www.english.upenn.edu/~wh). No prior knowledge of poetry is required. There will be few if any "lectures" through the semester; this is a course built upon discussions about the readings. Students will interact with the teachers and the materials in as many ways as the technology permits (which is to say, many ways). They will write frequent very short papers, submitted by email. They will be expected to be lively participants in the course listserv (electronic mailing list).
For more information about this course--how it works; how students participate on line; etc.--click here.