Contemporary American Poetry

This class will introduce
you to the world of Contemporary American Poetry. We will begin with the
Modernists, focusing on poetry written after World War II, and end with
Postmodern poetry, a tradition of poetry that’s being written in America today.
In addition to reading these works, you will be writing in the various poetic
traditions these works represent. The first half of the semester will be spent
on reading and responding to poetry, as well as engaging in creative writing
exercises. You will learn poetic terminology, the foundations of form, and
elements of versification that will allow you to engage in the discussion of
poetry and its possibilities. During the second half of the semester, you will
give a presentation on a poet of your choice, within the constraints of
American Contemporary Poetry, and develop your own creative writing exercise
that speaks to the tradition that poet is writing in, which you and the class
will then have to complete. By the end of the semester, you will not only have
a comprehensive understanding of American Contemporary Poetry and how it
relates to Contemporary American culture, but a portfolio of your own work.
This is a writing-intensive course. You will have a final project in two parts.
The first part will be an 8- to 10-page essay on specific poets and traditions
that influence you and your own writing. For the second part, you will compile
a portfolio of your own poems and revisions to those poems. If you are
interested in reading and writing poetry, as well as engaging in poetic
discourse, this course is for you.