ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult."
Eighteen experienced faculty members from across the United States present their analyses of ground-breaking modern American poets—from Whitman and Dickinson to Hip Hop—in richly illustrated video lectures. The course highlights both major poets—from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson through T.S. Eliot, H.D, Amy Lowell, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, and Muriel Rukeyser to Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Adrienne Rich, and many others—and influential movements, from experimental modernism to the Black Arts Movement.
The course is chronologically organized and mixes historical overview with close readings of individual poets and poems. Most courses give only one instructor’s point of view. This one matches the diversity of US poetry with lectures by a score of talented faculty. They bring their special perspective to the material while also presenting a coherent view of more than fifty years of US poetry.
Throughout the course the lectures are illustrated with vivid images of the events, people, and places mentioned in the poems themselves. Readings by the poets themselves and experienced faculty highlight the texts. On screen displays of text and quotations make it easy to follow the material. This is a course that takes advantage of the medium to bring you sights and sounds that would be difficult to incorporate in classroom lectures.