Welcome to the course blog. In this class, we will survey American poetry of the last sixty years while pondering the relation of genre and history. Poetry has often been understood as the literary form of individual expression: the art of an isolated inner self. Yet poets have always existed in and among a culture that demands representation, resistance, and affiliation, among other responses. How do the historical developments of postwar America, then, affect the literary status of the lyric voice? To answer that broad question, we will consider a number of interrelated topics and poetic schools: confessionalism, feminism, environmentalism, language poetry, and others.
This blog will help us to do so–allowing each of us to consider the particular questions we wish to pursue and the information that might be relevant to those questions. As we look forward to the final essay project, our explorations on the blog, as well as our colleagues’ comments on those explorations, should help to deepen and sharpen our analysis. I’m looking forward to the conversation.