NON-EUROPEAN TRADITIONS AND EMERGENT POETRIES IN ANGLOPHONE NORTH AMERICA: A ModPo SloPo 8-week course

I’m teaching a “slopo” season course this winter/spring 2020 for Coursera and Al Filreis’s Modern and Contemporary Poetry class.  You can jump in at any point, but you’ll need to register (for free – and the class is free) to get to the course page. The course officially runs from February 8 – March 4 but discussion can continue on afterward also.

This year’s class will be focusing on non-European traditions and emergent poetries in or translated into English, using Jerome Rothenberg’s anthologies of translation, especially the American-Indian-based SHAKING THE PUMPKIN, as a starting point. We will interrogate Rothenberg’s concept of “ethnopoetics” and consider the quandaries of putting oral tradition and place-based performance onto the printed page. We will look at the current work of Ofelia Zepeda, who writes in both Tohono O’odham and English and created the first Tohono O’odham dictionary. We will read, listen, and watch poetries of the Caribbean, especially focused on Jamaica, Kamau Braithwaite and Louise Bennett-Coverley. We will consider immigrant poetries that refuse to adopt Western convention, trying our hand, for example, at the ghazal form popularized in the United States by the Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali.

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