Sunday, August 26, 2012


As regular readers would know, last Poetry Monday I was struggling with a particularly stark example of post-modern poetry. It looks as though UPenn will be coming to my rescue. I just watched the intro video for ModPo: a 10 week online course on modern and contemporary American poetry from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Judging from the video, there is going to be quite a strong focus on experimental form. The instructor, Al Filreis, is founder, and faculty director of the Kelly Writers House; director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing; codirector (with Charles Bernstein) of PennSound; and publisher of Jacket2 -- all at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been teaching since 1985. I have actually taken modern poetry classes back in my English major days, but I was so much older then...(and certainly there was nothing this global or virtual back when an electronic typewriter was innovative...).  The course is free and looks like it will be a lot of fun, and quite educational as well - both for those who already have a good understanding of modern poetry, and for those just coming to the topic. Do feel free to join me: and maybe, just for fun, we can share our experiences here.


  1. Groovy! I mentioned MoPo (in addition to a bunch of other stuff) in my "back to school" post on my blog ( ). This course thus far looks like a nice one; I've thus far been better at starting Coursera courses than finishing them, but I think I'll see this one through.

    1. Thanks for commenting Leonard. I have to admit that I'm loving the course so far. One of the many interesting (meta) aspects of this course is how many of the people involved in it are bloggers. Not only is the course itself an open world wide village, but we're all evaluating and recording as we go along in a kind of giant, constantly morphing dialogue (that mirrors how we're reading and absorbing the work). I'll look forward to reading your review.

  2. I am thoroughly enjoying the ModPo MOOC. A great opportunity to experience the thrill of lifelong learning.