Sunday, September 8, 2013

Poetry Monday: ModPo is Back

If you missed ModPo last time around (and even if you didn't - lots of people are doing it again - it's that good).  There are currently over 30,000 people enrolled in ModPo II and although the first lot of course material is already available I'm pretty sure that enrollment remains open (but not for long).  It's completely free, and even though there are loads of attendees, the super-engaged involvement of Professor Al Filreis and his wonderful Teaching Assistants (and about 26 Community TAs too) makes this a very personal, very supported course full of insight and poetic pleasure.  There are no prerequisites, and you can work at your own pace, doing a lot or a little; interacting or keeping a low-profile.  If you missed my gushing regular blogposts last time around (you can search this blog for many posts on the topic), the brief overview is that ModPo stands for Modern and Contemporary Poetry and runs as a structured, university level class that encourages close, deep readings of poets beginning with Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman (who thread their way through everything that follows), through to Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Allan Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Cid Corman, and current poets like Tracie Morris, Bernadette Mayer, Charles Bernstein, Christian Bok, Carolyn Bergvall, many of whom actually joined in the discussion last time. There's no pressure to complete assignments, but of course that's all part of the learning experience (you do get a certificate if you complete everything), and no grades, though there's plenty of feedback, interaction, and above all camaraderie (and a few bonuses too) that lasts long after the course is done. I've done a lot of English Lit study and a degree in it too, but I honestly have never had such a powerful learning experience as ModPo. Don't miss it - just go, sign up, and participate at whatever level you can manage. You absolutely won't regret it:

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