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.
*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.
- Curriculum specialist and faculty member in Penn's division of Professional and Liberal Education
Anna Strong Safford is curriculum specialist and faculty member in Penn's division of Professional and Liberal Education. She received a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in literature from Boston College, and an MFA in poetry from Temple University. She teaches creative writing, critical writing, and modern and contemporary American poetry and poetics. Her poems and essays have appeared in Supplement, Cleaver, and Peregrine, among other… Read more