English 168 - Winter, 2020

20th Century American Poetry

Class Information

Instructor: Clover, Joshua
CRN: 76965
Time: MWF 10:00-10:50
Location: 118 Olson


    This course is fundamentally interested in (?American?) poetry?s ways of knowing about the world over the course of the 20th century, and how they changed. The world changed too. Coincidence?

    We?ll read six truly great poets and some scholarship both about poetry and about the era. You?ll also select a seventh poet for your final project.

    Our basic categories will be modernism and postmodernism ? mostly because people have been using them for years, even though they are imperfect and probably in fact deceptive. We?ll see what happens. If it turns out that all there is to say is ?dude, one comes after the other,? we?ll be disappointed. But the contrary proposition will be that we can also understand modernism and postmodernism as distinct attempts to grasp an increasingly complex world: imagination?s way of knowing what cognition cannot always wrap its head around.


    Attendance is mandatory to receive a grade.
    Participation 10%
    Reading Notes (4 sets) 20%
    Short Paper 25%
    Long Paper 35%
    Final Exam 10%
    [opportunity for extra credit 5 pts]


    Collected Poems, Audre Lorde
    Collected Poems (Vol 1), William Carlos Williams
    Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein
    The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot
    Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, John Ashbery
    Descent of Alette, Alice Notley