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Course Description:

In this fast-paced course we will read and encounter and discuss a great range of modern and contemporary U.S. poets working in the ""experimental mode,"" starting with the 19th-century proto-modernists Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman and ending with 21st-century conceptual poetics. Aside from providing a perhaps handy or helpful survey and chronology of 20th- and 21st-century poetry, this course offers a way of understanding general cultural transitions from modernism to postmodernism. Some people may wish to enroll as much to gain an understanding of the modernism/postmodernism problem through a study of poetry as to gain access to the work of these many poets. Participants do not need to have any prior knowledge of poetry or poetics. The instructor, Al Filreis, rarely lectures, and frequently calls for ""the end of the lecture as we know it""; instead, most of the video-recorded lessons will consist of collaborative close readings led by Filreis, seminar-style -- offering models or samples of readers' interpretations of these knotty but powerful poems, aided by the poetry-minded denizens of the Kelly Writers House on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

In-course Textbooks

As a student enrolled in this course, you will have free access to selected chapters and content for the duration of the course. All chapters were selected by the instructor specifically for this course. You will be able to access the Coursera edition of the e-textbook via an e-reader in the class site hosted by Chegg. If you click on “Buy this book”, you will be able to purchase the full version of the textbook, rather than the limited chapter selection in the Coursera edition. This initiative is made possible by Coursera’s collaboration with textbook publishers and Chegg.

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Course Reviews (18)
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Laura Cushing

June 24, 2013

TAKE THIS COURSE. Yes, you, person reading this. This is a course for everyone - and the best MOOC course I have ever taken. You will love the interaction with professor Al and his TAs, discussions with your fellow students, and the live call in / visit sessions. You will make many discoveries about poetry along the way. I loved this course so much I'm signing up for another session, just to see the new materials and participate again. Not that ModPo ever truly ends - there's still a very active community going on.

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David Blaine

June 24, 2013

Modpo seems created for those who want to enjoy reading poetry, and it excels at that, but for one who also writes poetry, it is also a rich resource. Starting with fundamentals the student gets a foundation in close reading. The pace is quick, covering styles of poetry rapidly. By the end some have jangled nerves while others delight in the material, covering such unconventional issues as non-authorship. The instructor pours his heart into all of this, to the extent that I don't if he sleeps or how he maintains his health for twelve weeks. Even if you don't think it sounds interesting, trust me, there's something in here for you.

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