Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (“ModPo”)
ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, with an emphasis on experimental verse, from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult." We encounter and discuss the poems one at a time. It's much easier than it seems! If you are curious about the ModPo team, watch the 20-minute introductory video below. You will get an overview of the course and will meet the brilliant TAs, who will be encountering the poems with you all the way to the end.
Cost: Free. There are no charges for any aspect of this course.
Duration: 10 weeks / Materials available year-round.
Hosted on: Coursera.org
About the course
ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, with an emphasis on experimental verse, from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult." We encounter and discuss the poems one at a time. It's much easier than it seems! Join us and try it!
Even though we are currently in our offseason ("SloPo"), you are welcome to enroll now. You will have access to the entire ModPo site. Explore; meet some ModPo'ers who are conversing in the site year-round; read poems and watch videos. Then join us again when the intense "symposium mode" starts up again in September.
Yes, the next live, interactive 10-week session of ModPo will begin on September 9, 2017, and will conclude on November 20, 2017. Al Filreis will be in touch with you by email before the September 9 start of the course with all the information you'll need to participate. If you have questions, you can email the ModPo team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the 10 weeks of the course, you will be guided through poems, video discussions of each poem, and community discussions of each poem. And (unique among open online courses) we offer weekly, interactive live webcasts. Our famed TAs also offer office hours throughout the week. We help arrange meet-ups and in-site study groups.
If you are curious about the ModPo team, type "ModPo YouTube introduction" into Google or your favorite search engine, and watch the 20-minute introductory video. You will get an overview of the course and will meet the brilliant TAs, who will be encountering the poems with you all the way to the end.
If you use Facebook, join the always-thriving ModPo Facebook group. If you have any questions about ModPo, you can post a question to the FB group and you'll receive an almost instant reply.
We tweet all year long at @ModPoPenn and you can also find ModPo colleagues using the hashtag #ModPoLive.
ModPo is hosted by—and is housed at—the Kelly Writers House at 3805 Locust Walk on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia USA. All ModPo'ers are welcome to visit the Writers House when they are in our area. Our discussions are filmed there. Our live webcasts take place in the famed "Arts Cafe" of the House. To find out what's going on at the Writers House any time, just dial 215-746-POEM.
Who is this class for?
ModPo is for those who are new to poetry. And it is for those who have always loved poetry but not yet studied modern and/or experimental poetry. And it is also for poets and critics and teachers who want to see what happens when a community of thousands come together to talk about poems such folks already know well. In short: ModPo will work, in some way, for anyone and everyone!
Taught by Al Filreis
Al Filreis is Kelly Professor of English, Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House, Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, Co-Director of PennSound, Publisher of “Jacket2” magazine—all at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been a member of the faculty and administrator since 1985. He has published many essays on modern and contemporary American poetry, on the literary history of the 1930s and 1950s, on the literary politics of the Cold War, on the end of the lecture, and on digital humanities pedagogy. Among his books are “Modernism from Right to Left,” “Wallace Stevens and the Actual World,” and “Counter-Revolution of the Word: The Conservative Attack on Modern Poetry, 1945-60.“ He produces and hosts a monthly podcast/radio program, “PoemTalk,” co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. He has hosted three eminent writers for residencies each spring through the Kelly Writers House Fellows Program since 1999. He has won many teaching awards at Penn, was named Pennsylvania Professor of the Year in 2000 by the Carnegie Foundation, was named one of the Top Ten Tech Innovators in Higher Education for 2013 by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and received the first Faculty Innovation Prize from Coursera. He founded ModPo in 2012, one of the very first humanities MOOCs; he has been teaching a version of the ModPo course online since 1995.