- Department: English and Related Literature
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Daniel Matore
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: H
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
- See module specification for other years: 2022-23
Something very strange happened to poetry over the course of the last century. Lines and stanzas—the very stuff it is supposed to be made from—exploded, crumbled, or evaporated. Hieroglyphs, neon signs, musical notation, photographs, playing cards, maps, and geometrical oddities began to take their place or jostle for room. Unruly materials and alien shapes started to take over the printed page.
How does a sonnet become a multimedia textual behemoth that cannibalises art, music, advertising, or videography? This module will chart the history of this transformation through British and American, African-American, and French Caribbean poetry. We’ll range from the modernist epic of Ezra Pound’s Cantos and the psychogeography of Hope Mirrlees’s Paris: A Poem to the prose poetry of Aimé Césaire and Geoffrey Hill to postwar and contemporary experiments with typography, protest, and identity in the verse of Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, and Claudia Rankine. We’ll investigate free verse, rhythm, typography, prose poetry, printing, and the material text. But we’ll also confront how literary forms and materials are entangled in music, advertising, fascism, American politics, nationhood, and identity.
|A||Semester 1 2023-24|
The aim of this module is to equip you with an advanced understanding of avant-garde and experimental poetry from 1900 to the present day.
On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:
Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with Anglo-American, African-American, and Francophone poetry.
Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with modernist, postwar and contemporary poetics.
Evaluate key debates within the relevant critical fields dealing with poetics, materiality, politics, and literary form.
Produce independent arguments and ideas which demonstrate an advanced proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills.
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You will be given the opportunity to submit a 1000-word formative essay for the module, which can feed into the 3000-word summative essay submitted at the end of the module.
Your essay will be annotated and returned to you by your tutor within two weeks.
You will submit your summative essay via the VLE during the revision and assessment weeks at the end of the teaching semester (weeks 13-15). Feedback on your summative essay will be uploaded to e:Vision to meet the University’s marking deadlines
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You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours
For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the department's Guide to Assessment
Ezra Pound, The Cantos (1917[-1968])
Hope Mirrlees, Paris: A Poem (1920)
E.E. Cummings, Tulips and Chimneys (1923)
Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to my Native Land (1939)
Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish and Other Poems (1961)
Geoffrey Hill, Mercian Hymns (1971)
Amiri Baraka, Funk Lore (1996)
Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004)