Poetry in America: The Poetry of Early New England

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Course Date: 10 September 2014 to 15 October 2014 (5 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

This course, the first installment of the multi-part Poetry in America series, covers American poetry in cultural context through the year 1700. We begin with Puritan poets--some orthodox, some rebel spirits--who wrote and lived in early New England.

Course Instructors

Elisa New

Elisa New is the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University where she teaches classic American literature from Anne Bradstreet through Marilynne Robinson and from the Puritans to the present day. She is the author of The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 1992) The Lines Eye: Poetic Experience, American Sight (Harvard University Press, 1999) Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore (2009). She also has two books forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell, New England Beyond Criticism: In Defense of America's First Literature (2014) and How To Read American Poetry (2015).

Course Description

Led by Harvard Professor Elisa New, Poetry in America surveys nearly 400 years of American poetry. Through video lectures, archival images and texts, expeditions to historic sites, interpretive seminars with large and small groups, interviews with poets and scholars, and conversations about poems with distinguished Americans, Poetry in America embarks on a journey through the literature of a nation. Distinguished guests, including President Bill Clinton, Elena Kagan, Henry Louis Gates, Eve Ensler, John McCain, Andrea Mitchell, Michael Pollan, Drew Faust, Tony Kushner, and Nas, among others, bring fresh perspectives to the study of American Poetry.

Course Prerequisites

None.

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