Astley, Neil ed. Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times. Newcastle: Bloodaxe, 2002.

Collins, Billy. Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems. New York: Random House, 2001.

Dove, Rita. Selected Poems. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

Heaney, Seamus. Opened Ground. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998.

Hodgen, John. Bread Without Sorrow: Poems. Spokane, Wash.: Lynx House Press, 2001.

Levertov, Denise. Poems: 1968-1972. New York: New Directions Publ. Corp.,1987.

___. This Great Unknowing. New York: New Directions Publ. Corp., 2000.

Lowell, Robert. Selected Poems. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1977.

Monahan, Jean. Believe It Or Not. Alexandria, VA: Orchises Press, 1999.

Pinsky, Robert. The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996.

Rich, Adrienne. The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New 1950-1984. New York: WW Norton & Company, 1994.

Schwartz, Lloyd. Cairo Traffic. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2000.

Tapscott, Steve. From the Book of Changes. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon, 2002.

Yes, it’s a healthy list. But it’s a big chore we’ve undertaken. I will be asking you to offer regular brief “reflections” on specific poems/poets, to write two short (5 page) and one longer (10-12 page) essay, and to offer a final in-class presentation. Come with questions, energy, a willingness to talk. This could be grand fun – but much of that will depend on you.

Additional Readings

Setting the terms:

in Poetry 180 (NY, Random House, 2003)

  • “Introduction”

Billy Collins, in After Confession (edited by Kate Sontag and David Graham; St. Paul MN, Graywolf Press, 2001)

  • “My Grandfather’s Tackle Box: The Limitations of Memory-Driven Poetry”

Dana Goia, Can Poetry Matter? (St. Paul MN, Graywolf Press, 1992)

  • “Introduction to the Tenth Edition”
  • “Can Poetry Matter?”

Seamus Heaney, The Redress of Poetry (NY, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995)

  • “The Redress of Poetry”
  • Opened Ground (NY, Farrar Straus, and Giroux, 1998)
  • “Crediting Poetry”

Denise Levertov, New and Selected Essays (New Directions pb, 1992)

  • “The Poet in the World”
  • “Poetry, Prophecy, Survival”
  • “A Poet’s View”

Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider (Freedom CA, The Crossing Press, 1996)

  • “Poetry Is Not a Luxury”
  • “An Interview: Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich”

Robert Lowell, Collected Prose (New York, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1887)

  • “Art and Evil”
  • “91 Revere Street”

Czeslaw Milosz, The Witness of Poetry (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1983).

Robert Pinsky, Democracy, Culture, and the Voice of Poetry (Princeton NY, Princeton University Press, 2002)

  • “Culture”
  • “Social Presence”
  • “Models of Culture”
  • “Conclusion”

Adrienne Rich, What Is Found There (NY, W. W. Norton, 1993)

  • “Woman and Bird”
  • “Voices from the Air”
  • “The Space for Poetry”
  • “Someone Is Writing a Poem”
  • “Not How to Write a Poem, But Wherefore”

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Written Assignments