University of Vermont

UVM Course Directory

ENGS 252 – 21st C American Poetry

Credits: 3.00

Course Description: Recent topics: "The Beat Generation;" "Literature and Society in Modern Ireland;" "Dostoevsky's Influence on 20th Century American Literature." Prerequisite: ENGS 086; six hours at the intermediate level; Instructor permission.

Section Description: Poetry written today is a complex amalgam of experimentation with, innovation of, and reaction to a large body of poetry written in the 20th century; there exists a clear line between The Beat Poets and Slam Poetry, from the Black Arts Movement to poets who write under the banner #BlackLivesMatter, from 1970s Marxist-inspired Language Poetry to Conceptual Poetry. If you have ever felt both inspired and perplexed by verse that seemed just outside your understanding or that cheerfully challenged and provoked your very notion of what is a poem, then you are among a fortunate group of poetry readers who by the end of this course will have a better grasp of how poetry refracts and amplifies the technological, social, political, and cultural changes in American society. Our study will have us explore the full range of poetic expression and inquiry. From traditional lyric poetry to theory-based, avant-garde poetry, we will read and discuss literary works that are great exemplars of trends in contemporary poetry and the ongoing debates that animate our literature and give it its vibrancy. We will explore the inheritance of modernism and post-modernism, but also put in context poems that place language and the concerns of our age at the very center of its imaginative vortex. Reading poetry is a rewarding experience, one that harnesses the whole of our intellect and our capacity to empathize and feel. Although fast-paced, this seminar is more than a survey, in that students are expected to formulate arguments that disrupt, challenge, reify, and build upon the growing body of criticism engendered by this area of study. To that end, students are required to present papers in mini-symposia as a means of preparing for the longer, research-based seminar essay. Additionally, students will be required to participate in vigorous conversation both in class and online. A final exam will be administered.

CRN: 15756

Section: A

Enrolled/Seats: 20/22

Days Time Location
T 16:35 - 19:35 OLD MILL ANNEX A207

Instructor(s): Major L. Jackson

Meeting Dates: 19 Jan 2016 - 04 May 2016