In this fast-paced course we will read and discuss a great range of modern and contemporary U.S. poets--from Pound to Perelman, from Whitman to Walker. Aside from providing a survey and chronology of twentieth-century poetry, this version of English 88 will offer one--I think, helpful--way of understanding the transition from modernism to postmodernism. Thus some students may wish to enroll as much to gain an understanding of the modernism-postmodernism problem through a study of recent poetry as to gain access to the work of these many poets. Students need not have prior knowledge of poetry or poetics, although a familiarity with writers and issues covered in English 20 will be very helpful. English 88 operates almost wholly as a discussion, the lecture having been replace here by the web, by on-demand audio and video files and other info delivered by such new media.
Requirements include many one-page "position" papers, submitted by electronic mail; a comprehensive final examination; and a willingness to use e-mail, to read some of the poetry through electronic resources, and to participate fully in a listserv (electronic mailing list) discussion.