Fall 2020

Amherst Poets

Listed in: English, as ENGL-150


Amelia Worsley (Section 01)


From Emily Dickinson to Robert Frost to Sonia Sánchez, Amherst is world-famous because of its poets. More than twenty well-known poets have written, lived and taught in the area where we find ourselves living. This introductory course is designed to welcome students who have not previously taken a college-level English course into the literary environment of Amherst, as well as into the literary community of poetry readers across the globe. Our main focus will be on the close-reading skills needed to engage with poetry of all kinds, and on the skills needed to write a college-level essay. We will engage in frequent writing workshops together. If possible, students on campus will have opportunities to interact with manuscripts in the Frost Library, while students off campus will interact with digital versions. There will also be a chance to explore the Emily Dickinson Museum, either in person or online.

The majority of this course will revolve around online discussion in various formats, though there will be opportunities for visits to museums and archives in smaller groups. Students will also have a chance to meet with various Amherst Poets working today online. The craft of essay writing will be a central feature of this class: students will receive feedback on their work in individual meetings.

No prior experience of poetry will be assumed. Eighteen seats reserved for first-year students. Limited to 18 first-year students. Fall and spring semesters. In the fall semester, 18 seats reserved for first-year students. Professor Worsley.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to first-year students.


Attention to Writing, Online Only


2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2020