ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult."
What if I told you?
If I told you what if, of you, I told.
A tolling per se and the bells without tolls.
"In a restless world like - THIS - is."
You do the work.
You make it new.
You belong there.
So much depends upon - YOU
Your "merely being there means something"
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall"
There is ModPo and then there is no going back.
Come and see the smiles in your mirror.
Poetry is life ~?~
ModPo is a superb course in every respect. The video discussions model collaborative close readings, which I think is a real strength of the approach, and the forums are rich with every kind of discussion. The professor, Al Filreis, and TA staff are extraordinarily active, not just technically, but substantively, in the forums and in the Facebook group, and indeed, we communicate with them directly by name and they know an extraordinary number of our names, too. The attitude is one of co-learning from all sides--an Al Filreis mantra is "the wisdom is in the room." There are numerous live webcasts in which anyone can bring up anything they want about the week's subject matter (and they do!), the resource materials provided are enormous and generously available (they're available free to anyone inside or outside the course on an unlimited basis), and the effort among the staff to build and maintain a worldwide community of people excited about poetry is phenomenal. After the course ended "officially," the staff kept the entire coursera site open until the next iteration of the course started a year later. Discussions continued and friendships were made; many people, including from places as far away as Wales, made the pilgrimage to UPenn to participate "live" on webcast days. Absolutely anything you want to find out is there to dig in to in depth. It's an extraordinarily rich course--the single best educational experience I've had in my life.
If anyone has a doubt that ModPo is the top class, come and see the activity on Facebook, on the Discussion Board and in the webcasts. There are over 40k students from around the globe, all of which are excited, dedicated and so many of them repeat the class. New comers will come back next year. Not only do we attend the class but we search for other sites, we listen to PoemTalk and the excitement is up in the sky.
I am taking ModPo for the second time this year, as are many of my newly found ModPo friends. That is a strong indication of the excellent quality of this course. The course traces the leading trends and movements in the world of modern American poetry, trends which, in many ways, presage social and political developments in larger society. The course itself is taught in a "flipped" way, with the onus of and responsibility for learning place squarely on the student. The students who complete the course achieve a precious goal, a priceless prize, which explains why so many come back for more. No doubt, next year's offering will have many repeat "offenders." Be brave, be courageous, take ModPo! As they say at my favorite buffalo wings restaurant in Tallahassee, "you know you want some!"
I can describe it in two words: life changing. I never completed university. Always felt like I was somehow lessened because of that. Turns out I do have a brain and it's functioning quite well, thank you, and from time to time I have something to say that other people like to hear. Al's nurturing enthusiasm (to a classroom of over 30,000 people!) is nothing short of amazing.
This is a brilliant class - each week a different 'school/movement' is discussed, with accompaning poets and readings. The video discussions are wonderful, and the TA's, young men and women themselves are brilliant. The professor, Al has a guru type of feel, bringing you into the poetry world, so you never want to leave. The community of poets from around the world is close and it is the greatest experience you could ever hope for
This was my first MOOC and my first real introduction to poetry. It was far different from any bricks and mortar college class that I have ever taken. The level on involvement from everyone was amazing and even though I felt lost at times, there was always someone there to nudge me -not in the "right" direction but on to new possibilities. No other course has even come close to this experience-please don't miss it!
Amazing experience with Al and his wonderful TA's..they become your other family. In 10 weeks, you will learn so much about poetry & become hooked. I had never read poetry before this class..never knew how to approach it..now I am hooked & plan to continue forever!
'Top' cannot do this class justice, it's not enough! The high quality of teaching, the perfect structuring of the course, an incredibly stimulating syllabus, and a fantastic learning environment, in which you have the feeling you are actually studying in the company of students from every corner of the world in a collaborative (and fun!) way... If you haven't tried it yet, make a note in your diary for September 2014!
This is an amazing class, rich in resources and richer still in community. The heart of the class is the interactive discussions that occur 24-7 on the course forums, which create a marketplace of ideas. This interactivity is unique among the MOOCs I have seen and has provided one of the best learning experiences I have ever had.
Take this class and you will be totally WOWed! I've learned so much about looking at poetry a different way - close-reading. Al Filreis and the TAs are fabulous in guiding you through this process. The discussion forums are like going to different class sessions. The ideas that come from these forums is way more in depth than I have ever thought possible. If you like poetry, this is the class for you and it's free!
I am enrolled a second time because the learning and the community was so exciting last year I wanted to participate again. I also felt I could learn more despite being a working for poet who writes, teaches, reviews. This year I was invited to be a Community Teaching Assistant and I started a popular study group in the Discussion Forum on Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons. Al Filreis has built a remarkable learning experience with the help of his very able staff.
A sophisticated, exciting, intelligent, freewheeling class that involves students more intimately than any online course I've ever taken. The focus is always on possibilities and every piece of student input is taken seriously. Imagine a course that makes you feel as if you're at the table and a valued participant in the discussion. No old-fashioned "I teach/you learn" or "talking heads" here. I look forward to it every day, every reading, every video discussion. Brilliant!
I was an English major in school decades ago and leaned toward prose and theory, so I didn't give poetry any more time or effort than necessary. As a result, I was ignorant of a great deal of what it takes to appreciate poetry beyond the very basic, straightforward poem. This course has not only helped me to appreciate the poetry we studied, but given me the confidence to approach poetry not covered by this course. The approach is accessible to all regardless of background, yet is still rigorous. While the professor's views are certainly expressed, they are not put forward as "THE" way to read a poem, but as A way to read a particular poem. Everyone from the TAs in the videos to every single student is encouraged to find his/her own way into each poem. I say every single student because, in addition to the forums where there are ongoing discussions (often including the TAs and the professor) but the staff also have virtual office hours so you can exchange ideas or ask questions and get an immediate response. Of the MOOCs I have taken in the Humanities, this combination of pedagogical approach and structure is by far the most conducive to teaching and encouraging. And in many MOOCs, it is the encouragement that is lacking.
This class is unlike others. It is actually "taught" via a roundtable discussion and close reading of contemporary poems. You can take the course over again and learn something new each time. The best of the Coursera courses.
I have been a student of one kind or other for nearly seventy years, many of those at top universities. I can honestly say that ModPo is probably the best course I have ever had the pleasure of taking. Al Filreis and his TAs are extremely well prepared, well organized, and embracing of all who come to the course. Best of all, they manage to communicate information and joy in poetry and language without reliance on the lecture format. I feel as if I'm part of a small seminar where ideas are freely exchanged, yet I have the advantage of having access also to the thousands of interesting people who are taking the course, via the forums and weekly webcasts. I look forward to the writing assignments because I always learn something from doing them and from the peer assessments that follow them. ModPo has become an important part of my life, and I will follow the lead of many others and take it again in 2014 because I want to build on what I've learned this year, and because I want to continue to be part of the amazing community that is ModPo.
Do not let the word Poetry put you off taking this class. This course will teach you how to read and think. It is the most valuable course that I have ever experienced. The more I put into this course the more I got out of it.
I can feel my brain expanding
Things I thought weren't poetry now sing to me
How can one find so much love and caring in a class of 34,000?
More up close and personal than classes I have taken in person with 20 people.
I have found a new home.
I have a Master's degree in English, and I found this class to be tremendously challenging, stimulating, interesting, and fun. I have not always particularly liked modern poetry, and I would have not independently spent much time with Whitman, Stein, Ginzberg and the more experimental poets, but I found that the class almost forces you to respect and appreciate poets that you would never have thought you would like. And I learned so much more about poets that I had thought I was pretty familiar with. Al Filreis is a generous, creative professor.
Best MOOC ever. Period. You're getting a master-class, close discussion setting and really good exposure to some of the movements in American poetry (including the stuff happening now), that sneaks up and teaches you to think in ways you never expected. Engagement doesn't do the connection justice. You will discover that you're not just more informed about the poems and the way of teaching/thinking in the class, but the class begins to inform your view of the world around you too. If you ever felt like you might like poetry, you will. If you ever thought you might like to write poetry, you will. The content of the class is fantastic, and the content of the forum is beautiful, global, and mind-blowing. It doesn't teach you just to read poetry, but to think about everything.
Fantastic.. engaging, perplexing, thought-provoking, and with such support from the teaching staff and participants. I love this class. And I've taken about six coursera courses.. this rates among one of the best. Thanks Al et al!
Course is engaging with video group discussions, live webcasts, individual responses to student questions. The discussion forums are extremely active. The course material is well-presented with plenty of supplementary sources and readings for those wishing to deepen their knowledge even further. Teaching staff is very accessible; each student feels like their contributions are valued and that the staff knows who everyone is and what they've said: an amazing feat considering the number of enrollments in the course.
This is my second time through the course: it was that good the first time!
Life changing class...humor, intelligence, poignancy...every week. This class is not to be missed (but WILL be very missed by all attendees when it's over.) I'm a ModPo-er for life. Thank-you Al Filreis and Team!
This Fall is my 2nd experience with ModPo and it just keeps getting better. Compared to 4 other online classes, ModPo is the most interactive, community oriented class that I could ever want. There are many thousands of us taking this class, yet it feels intimate because of Prof. Al Filreis's devotion to open communication, conversational style, devotion to the subject matter, plus a contagious enthusiasm for sharing poetry with his excellent TA's, the gang at the Kelly Writers House and any and all of us. Technologically, the class is designed for maximum involvement. Round table videos for close reading our poems, live web casts with the community, discussion forums and assignments designed to encourage participation in assessing our and other's contributions. It is just the BEST!
Apart from Al and the TAs being most helpful and considerate towards even those who did not understand a word of poetry, the support from the peers is outstanding! I have completed other courses on Coursera too, but nowhere did I find such enthusiasm, support and motivation that I did in this class. It has let my creative side flow and shown me how to close read a poem - something I thought I would never be able to do! Thank you Al!
If you have even the slightest interest in poetry this will be a rewarding experience. You will come away not only a stronger reader of poetry but a stronger reader. The level of staff participation will astonish you. Something valuable is being given away free!
Best course I've done for years, including paid ones. Lovely inclusive teaching method that makes you feel part of the group, loads of resources free online, great community spirit. Many on the course feel it has not only increased their understanding of poetry and of modernism, but changed their lives for the better
This is the MOOC in which I have been the most engaged. The course empowers students to think about and discuss challenging and interesting work. The evidence is in the volume and quality of the student forums. This is an amazing course.
I've taken several online courses and this is by far the best . It is well run. The teacher and the TAs are very knowledgeable about the subject. This course is for anyone no matter what your educational level. It makes you want to keep exploring on your own about the subject.
I have taken several MOOC courses and Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo) is far and away the one that was most interesting, that kept me most engaged and that was most relevant to achieving my goal of learning enrichment and social fellowship. In ModPo we do close reading of poetry, starting with Whitman and Dickinson, right up to the present day poets. The course is fun, but it is also challenging, and you complete it knowing far more about the subject and its impact on society than you may have known before,
This highly participative and enthusiastically conducted class is a model for how online courses should be run. The class uses the entire gamut of online tools, from videos to online forums to live webcasts. The videos are not lectures, but rather close-reading discussions between the professor and a group of dedicated and intelligent students.
This was a truly wonderful experience of both poetry and community. Professor Al Filreis and his TAs are deeply engaged and involved in the forum discussions, and are passionate about modern poetry. Peer review, instead of a score, involves commentary and continued discussion. I strongly recommend this class to anyone with an interest in poetry.
Modpo is a rewarding experience for students at all levels. I have a fine arts degree in poetry, but I lacked much of the literature background that this course provides. I discovered new poets and poetic practices that will enrich my own work and my reading experiences. There are options for completing the coursework or simply auditing. Support from the professors, TAs, and fellow Modpo students creates a human connection that is unusual compared to other online courses I have taken. I will be revisiting this course material again and again. Many thanks for all of the hard work put in by Al Filreis and the TAs and Kelly Writer's House.
This course will transform you by bringing JOY to every aspect of your life. By learning to understand modern poetry, within the warm and nurturing environment created by Al Filries and his team, you will understand life better. There are no lectures, only discussions; and the forums allow you to make personal and professional connections with people from all over the world. Despite the fact that the course is now over for the year, I am still involved in a study group on Gertrude Stein's "Tender Buttons"... five months ago I didn't even know who Stein was!! I am also enjoying collaborating on my own poetry with several other ModPo students. Don't hesitate, try out this class, you never know what bounty it may bring you!!!
Al Filreis is superb at generating student interest, and very responsive in discussion forums. However his choice of poems is biased toward the life-denying rather than life-affirming -- he ignores too many of the great poems of the past century and focuses too much on the peripheral, especially the postmodern and experimental.
Al Filreis is awesome, and he is very active in the discussion forums. The material is first rate, and many from this class have become a poetry community. This was my second time taking the class, and it has lost none of the sparkle of the first time around. This course opened up so many opportunities for me, and I am endlessly grateful! If you are interested in poetry, this is a must take class. You will have the opportunity to interact with thousands of poetry lovers!
It has been great to participate in this class and has expanded my boundaries poetically to a great extent. I think this has been a terrific learning experience and believe there is more to gain from this class. So much so in fact, that I am planning to take it a third time. Can you think of a course you would have considered doing that with during either your graduate or undergraduate years?