ENGLISH 398 - Junior Seminar in English Studies
Section: 001 Contemporary Anglophone Poetry and "the Personal"
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this seminar, we explore contemporary American and Anglophone poetry and poetics through the lens of “the personal.” That is, we read a variety of poetry produced in the U.S. from 1945 forward and work to develop a critical vocabulary with which to examine the often sounded claim that the difference between contemporary American poetry and modernist poetry is that the former is more “personal.” What would it even mean for a poem to BE personal? What kinds of assumptions about reading and writing and people does that claim foster and depend upon? What literary and historical backgrounds explain the claim and the work this claim describes? We consider the various virtues and vices associated with the idea of the personal (and with the idea of an ideally “impersonal” poetry called for by T. S. Eliot and the other modernists earlier in the 20th century), weighing these terms’ usefulness as critical descriptors, and encountering the period through their logics. About ten books of poetry to buy, including work by so-called “confessional” and “beat” writers, as well as more contemporary works by Anne Carson, Terrance Hayes, and others.

ENGLISH 398 - Junior Seminar in English Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

There will be other readings in xerox. If price of collections is prohibitive for a student, please contact me and we can arrange alternatives!
ISBN: 0872860175
Howl, and other poems, Author: by Allen Ginsberg., Publisher: City Lights Books [Repr.]. 1985
ISBN: 0060931728
Ariel., Author: Sylvia Plath., Publisher: Perennial Classics. 1st Perenn 1998
ISBN: 0872860353
Lunch poems, Author: Frank O'Hara., Publisher: City Lights Books [Reprint]. 1964
ISBN: 0374506280
Life studies, Author: Robert Lowell., Publisher: The Noonday Press 12. print. 1978
ISBN: 9780811213028
Glass, irony, and God, Author: Carson, Anne., Publisher: New Directions Books 2005
ISBN: 1440626987
Wind in a box, Author: Hayes, Terrance., Publisher: Penguin Books 2014
ISBN: 0141981776
Citizen : an American lyric, Author: Rankine, Claudia, 1963-, Publisher: Penguin Books 2015
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