English 168 - Fall, 2016

20th Century American Poetry

Class Information

Instructor: Ronda, Margaret
CRN: 53664
Time: MWF 1:10-2:00
Location: 25 Wellman


    This course will be devoted to studying the work of key figures in twentieth-century American poetry and poetics from the modernist period to the present. We will read widely in the major poetic movements, from Imagism, Objectivism, and the Harlem Renaissance through the mid-century work of the New York School, Beats, and San Francisco Renaissance poets, to writing of the postmodern period. As we read, we will consider the ways these poets make it new, in Pounds phrase, and what these methods disclose about the formal, aesthetic, experiential possibilities of poetry as a cultural form. How is poetry a distinctive discourse, as Anthony Easthope argues? At the same time, we will examine what these works reveal about the transactions between poetic practice and social life. How do these poems encounter the social conditions of their daywars on other shores, economic crises and globalization, commodity fetishism, technological progress, racial and gender oppression, ecological catastropheand theorize their work in relation to other forms of media? What do these poems tell us about the life of persons and things in the American century?


    Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry Vol 1, Jahan Ramazani
    Voyage of the Sable Venus, Robin Coste Lewis