Syllabi Essay, Research Paper

We invite people to submit course syllabi based on Anthology of Modern American

Poetry—on disk to Cary Nelson or by e-mail (to—for

us to place on line. We are especially interested in courses that use both Anthology of

Modern American Poetry and the web site. Courses may range from broad surveys to

concentrated treatments of specific modern American poetry topics. They may focus on all

or part of the century. Since each course will have its own link, you may include not only

a syllabus but also handouts, assignments, questions, manifestoes, provocations,

bibliographies, etc. References to the web site can be identified by the abbreviation



Dee Morris, University of Iowa–Introduction to Poetry

Robert Bennett, University of California at Santa Barbara–"The

Languages of Literature: An Introduction to Literary Study"

Don Adams, Florida Atlantic University–"Creative


Mark Van Wienen, Augustana College–"Creative

Writing: Poetry and Drama"

Karen Ford, University of Oregon–"Twentieth Century

African-American Poetry and Poetics"

Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign–"American

Poetry from 1900-1950"

Cary Nelson–"Cultural Territories: American Poetry

from World War II to the Present"

Edward Brunner, Southern Illinois University–"Major

American Writers: Williams, Stevens, and Eliot"

Mark Scroggins, Florida Atlantic University–"Modern

American and British Poetry"

Nancy Berke, City University of New York–"Modern

American Poetry"

Michael Thurston, Smith College–"Modern American


Tim Newcomb, West Chester University–"Modern

American Poetry"

Marsha Bryant, University of Florida–"Modern American

Poetry at Millennium"

Marsha Bryant–"Modern American Poetry"

Norman M. Finklestein, Xavier University–"Modern

American Poetry"

Alan Golding, University of Louisville–"Modern American Poetries"

Dr. Mair?ad Byrne, University of Mississippi–"Twentieth

Century Poetry"

Dr. Kenneth Sherwood, University of Texas of the Permian Basin–"20th-Century

American Poetry"


Although MAPS has many resources for students and faculty writing research

papers, its most notable use may be in classes every week. Prior to MAPS there really was

no realistic way to give students access to commentary about so many authors. Now with

each week’s poetry readings everyone can gain a fairly detailed knowledge of the history

of criticism surrounding each poem. People thereby come to class ready to agree and

disagree with past critics; they are already participants in a conversation before the

class begins. Acquiring this level of background knowledge also makes for a more

democratic and collaborative discussion, since students and faculty are closer to being

intellectual equals.

This conversation can be enhanced by requiring everyone to post an email

or electronic bulletin board comment about one or two poems and the attendant MAPS

analyses before each class. These posts should go to everyone. Even shy students will

thereby be drawn into a dialogue, and everyone will begin formulating interpretations and

posing questions for discussion ahead of time.

The impact of all of this on the quality of discussion can be astonishing.

Advanced undergraduates or members of graduate seminars can then go on to

write original poem analyses for publication on MAPS.

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