Modern and Contemporary American Poetry at the University of Pennsylvania will be offered at Jackson Memorial Library beginning Monday, Sept. 9. This fast-paced survey course is free through and covers many poets with the objective of conveying a sense of poetic movements and trends.

Students will study only a few poets in any depth — including Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein and John Ashbery — but otherwise in any given week will typically talk about poems by three or four or even five different poets.

The format of “ModPo” makes it perfect for this trial program of offering an online course at the library. Each week’s material is broken into seven to 10 segments, each segment a filmed/recorded discussion of a close reading of a single poem. The group will view the online segments, as well as discuss the poems. No knowledge of poetry is required, and the only preparation for each class is to read the selected poems ahead of time.

The course will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m.; students can come to one or both evenings. The course lasts 10 weeks. For more course information, visit Those interested in taking part are asked to send email to or call the library at 372-8961 and indicate which evening(s) they would like to attend.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or