General Information: Reading Contemporary Poetry

Course Number: 09WG094

Course Title: Reading Contemporary Poetry: Tools, Tips, and Tricks

Instructor: Dr. Marta Ferguson

Schedule: W 6-8pm, 02/11-/3/04

Number of sessions: 4

Textbook/ISBN: The Poetry Readers' Toolkit by Marc Polonsky/ISBN 9780844259888

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

  • At rowdy coffeehouse poetry slams and in hushed literary readings alike, poetry continues to make its way in the world. But most of it doesn’t look or sound like the poetry of the past. Want a better understanding of this literary and cultural phenomenon? Join us as we explore the range of voices and styles that make up the pageant of contemporary poetry.

Learning Outcome

  • By the end of this class, you will have read, understood, and enjoyed dozens of contemporary poems, read and "come to appreciate" dozens more. You'll have a better understanding of various literary techniques as they apply to poetry and a good sense of the genre's history the last fifty years. You'll be a better reader of any text you chose to take up.

Course Outline

  1. February 11: Poems about Poetry & Poetry as Emotional Cartography (Polonksky Chs. 1 &2 )
  2. February 18: Poems as Image Machines (Polonsky Ch. 3)
  3. February 25: Poems as Story Boxes (Polonsky Ch. 4)
  4. February 26: Poems as Sound Systems (Polonsky Ch. 5)