CRWR 1600: Modern and Contemporary US Poetry

Creative Writing
Course in Creative Writing
Course Description:

In this fast-paced introductory course, students read and discuss a wide range of modern and contemporary American poets, beginning with Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman and ending with 21st century avant-garde poets like Tracie Morris, Caroline Bergvall, and Kenneth Goldsmith. Questions central to this course include "How does experimental poetry help us understand the transition between modernism and postmodernism?" and "What is the relationship between experimental poetry and experimental teaching?" The poems and poets we study challenge students to read critically and think differently about what a poem is, about what art can be and about what poetry can teach us about reading, writing and learning. Students do not need to have any prior knowledge of poetry or poetics. The course operates primarily as a discussion. Rather than attending lectures, students participate in web-based discussions of the poems, accessible in text, audio, and video formats. Requirements include active participation in the online discussion forums, in addition to five short papers, quizzes, creative exercises, and a comprehensive final examination.

You have the option to enroll in the individual course without committing to the entire Certificate in Creative Writing, enjoying the flexibility and expertise offered by Penn LPS Online to suit your schedule and interests.

Course Credits:
1 course unit (c.u.)*
Term Format:
Full term
2022 Term Offered:
Spring (full term): Jan 12 – Apr 6, 2022
Fall (full term): Aug 30 – Dec 22, 2022
BAAS Foundational Requirement:
Qualitative Analysis - Creativity and Innovation
Gateway Category:
Qualitative Analysis

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

CRWR 1600 academic calendar

Fall 2022: August 30 – December 22, 2022
Course registration opens Wednesday, May 11
Classes begin Tuesday, August 30
Last day to add a course (via Path@Penn) Tuesday, September 13
Last day to drop a course with no financial obligation and no notation on the transcript (via Path@Penn) Tuesday, September 13
Last day to drop a course with 50% financial obligation and no notation on transcript (via Path@Penn) Monday, October 14
Last day to withdraw from a course. Full financial obligation applies. Penn LPS Online students must submit a withdrawal form. TBD
Classes end Monday, December 22


  • Poet, prose writer, teacher and editor

Laynie Browne is a poet, prose writer, teacher, and editor. She is the author of 13 collections of poems and three novels. Her most recent collections of poems include You Envelop Me (Omnidawn, 2017), P R A C T I C E (SplitLevel, 2015), and Scorpyn Odes (Kore Press, 2015). Her honors include a 2014 Pew Fellowship, the National Poetry Series Award (2007) for her collection The Scented Fox, and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award (2005) for her collection… Read more


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