Modern Poetry with Al Filreis
Four years ago, Elliot Holt wrote an article on her experiences taking Al Filreis's massive open online course (or MOOC) on Modern & Contemporary American Poetry. Now the 10-week ModPo starts again on September 10th, 2016 on Coursera.
The instructor, Al Filreis, might be familiar to Poetry Foundation listeners and readers as the host of Poem Talk. Filreis, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, espouses “the end of the lecture as we know it.” ModPo relies on collaborative close readings led by Filreis, seminar-style. The course, which has drawn over 40,000 participants thus far, also uses the Poetry Foundation's archive of poems and poets.
ModPo has been created to test the proposition that there is poetic wisdom in crowds: that “collaborative close readings involving thousands of people can produce fresh interpretations of open-ended poems, and that a humanities MOOC need not be impersonal,” says Filreis. Watch this video for a taste, and click here to learn more and register.
The readings will focus on 20th century American poems, with an emphasis on poets working in the experimental mode. You can read a sampling here:
“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant” by Emily Dickinson
“Danse Russe” by William Carlos Williams
“Poets' work” by Lorine Niedecker
“If We Must Die” by Claude McKay
“A Supermarket in California” by Allen Ginsberg
“Sea Poppies” by H.D.
“truth” by Gwendolyn Brooks
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens
“If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso” by Gertrude Stein
“Incident” by Amiri Baraka
“Howl” by Allen Ginsberg
“I Know a Man” by Robert Creeley
“Nude Descending a Staircase” by X.J. Kennedy
“Vase Poppies” by Jennifer Scappettone
“Not a Cage” by Joan Retallack