Spring 2023

Avant-Garde Poetry

Listed in: English, as ENGL-449


Ingrid L. Nelson (Section 01)


Avant-garde poetry resists definition. In this class, we will explore poetry that defies convention, be it formal (exploding the poetic verse line), material (appearing outside of the conventional venues of the published, mass-produced book), or linguistic (using everyday language rather than poetic diction).  We will read widely from a range of twentieth- and twenty-first century poets as well as important nineteenth-century forebears. The course will center on the movements and schools of avant-garde poetry in the Anglo-American tradition, such as modernism (Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein); the Harlem Renaissance (Langston Hughes); the Beat Poets (Allen Ginsburg, Diane di Prima); the New York School (Frank O’Hara); the Black Arts poets (Amiri Baraka, Harryette Mullen); the Black Mountain Poets (Robert Creeley, Charles Olsen); the Language Poets (Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein); and other contemporary poets (Nathaniel Mackey, Myung Mi Kim, M. NourbSe Philip). We will ask, how do these poets and movements challenge the aesthetic and poetic conventions of their time(s)?  How do they expand or challenge the boundaries of poetic forms and subjects?  What opportunities and constraints do avant-garde approaches offer to poets of color and/or women poets?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to junior and senior English majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: TBA

ENGL 449 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM BARR 102
Th 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM BARR 102


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Fall 2024