New book by Shetland poet rewrites Williams's 'Nantucket'

Christie Williamson, a Shetlander poet who resides in Glasgow, has published a new book with LuathPress in Edinburgh. Its title is Doors tae Naewye. Many of the poems are accompanied (as notes) by English translations. Some are a mix of English and Shetlandic. One poem, “St. Catherines,” is in part a response to William Carlos Williams's “Nantucket.” My own copy of the book, sent to me as a gift by Williamson, includes little handwritten notes, in pencil, slipped into various pages. The perfect treasure hunt for the reader-critic-fan, which is what I am with respect to this verse. The note, reproduced above, reads: “Written on arrival on my first of many visits to my cousin's second home/holiday let in Scalloway — the house is called St. Catherines and Id been contemplating William Carlos Williams's ‘Nantucket’ for Essay (two? three?)” The reference here to “Essay (two? three?)” is to ModPo, the open online course with which Christie Williamson has a long association. Participants were asked in a recent season of ModPo to write (in the second of four essays, in fact) about “Nantucket,” with its window-framed “optics” (Williamsons word) “changed by white curtains” (Williamss phrase). 

Stein comix

by Kyriakos Mavridis

A page from Kyriakos Mavridis’s comics rendering of a Stein prose-poem

Kyriakos Mavridis participated in ModPo (a free open noncredit online course on modern and contemporary American poetry), where among the Gertrude Stein readings we find a short prose poem called “Let Us Describe.” Its ending, an accident of descriptiveness gone thus awry, writes an automobile accident that seems to have occurred on wet rural French roads one stormy night. 

The comix Kyriakos has created was published in a comic album called Windy Nights (along with four other comic adaptations of poems /texts — all in Greek). Here is the link.
The other four comics are of two texts by Kyriakos (Arrival and Close the window, written originally in Greek), one of Lorca’s (The Rider’s Song) and the last one of an untitled poem by Nazim Hikmet (title of the comic: Determined). Kyriakos has now added English versions of these comics at his website: Windy Nights
In a recent note, Kyriakos generously observed: “I am sending you this email because your lectures in ModPo (I was an online student back in 2013) inspired me my adaptation of Let Us Describe, which in turn inspired the rest of the works in this comic album. It was very important for me and I am really grateful to you.”

Close reading of two poems by Harryette Mullen (video)

Left to right: Lily Applebaum, Dave Poplar, Al Filreis, Camara Brown

Here is a link to an edited/condensed version of our original thirty-three-minute ModPo video featuring a close reading of two poems from Harryette Mullen’s Sleeping with the Dictionary. It has been added to the main syllabus of ModPo, the free, open, noncredit online course on modern and contemporary US poetry.

On Ayukawa's dark wartime poem 'Man on a Bridge' (1942)

New ModPo video with Yosuke Tanaka

New ModPo video just posted — in which Anna Strong Safford and I talk with Yosuke Tanaka about a dark, wartime poem by Ayukawa Nobuo called “Man on a Bridge” (1942). Click the link (to view the video you must be logged into ModPo — registering is free and open to all):

Here is a link to the text of the poem.

Wai Chee Dimock, 'Education Populism'

Wai Chee Dimock, editor of PMLA, published her editor’s comment during fall 2017 on the “education populism” she discerned in several affiliated projects hosted at the Kelly Writers House — among them, PennSound, PoemTalk, ModPo, and the programs offered in the old house at 3805 Locust Walk itself. A PDF copy of the article is available HERE.

Discussion of Elizabeth Willis's "Survey"

Elizabeth Willis at the Kelly Writers House

Today we are making available — through the ModPo site — a discussion, hosted by me, with Emily Harnette, Anna Strong Safford, and Amaris Cuchanski, of Elizabeth Willis's "Survey." It's one of the new poems in Willis's recent New & Selected Poemstitled Alive. This link

— will take you inside the ModPo site, which is free and open (but one must enroll for access).

Here is a link to the text of the poem. And here is a link to the PennSound recording of Willis performing the poem (at Kelly Writers House).

Crowdsourced close reading: Four members of the ModPo community discuss Clark Coolidge's (and Charlie Parker's) 'Blues for Alice'

Anika Lani and Raymond Maxwell during the November 1, 2015 discussion for ModPo

One of many collaborations you’ll find in ModPo’s collection of crowdsourced close readings: Raymond Maxwell, Colleen Knight, Anika Lani, and Mark Snyder meet by GoogleHangout to discuss Clark Coolidge’s “Blues for Alice” (in the context of Charlie Parker and more): link to YouTube. (Note that the discussion starts at 5:35.) If you are enrolled in ModPo (free; enroll here), go to the ModPo CCCR (“Community Crowdsourced Close Readings”) syllabus here.

On Naomi Replansky's last poem ever (video)

'About Not Writing' collaboratively read

Al Filreis & Anna Strong moderate a collaborative close reading in the Wexler Studio of the Kelly Writers House, February 2017.

We at ModPo have added new materials to ModPo pertaining to Naomi Replansky’s poem “About Not Writing.” This, according to Replansky herself (who is ninety-nine years old as of this posting), is the last poem she will ever write, and, as the title suggests, is about that very cessation. The links below will work for you if you are enrolled in ModPo (it’s free — enroll here any time).

[] read Naomi Replansky’s “About Not Writing”: LINK TO TEXT
[] watch Naomi Replansky perform “About Not Writing”: LINK TO VIDEO
[] watch a discussion of Replansky’s “About Not Writing”: LINK TO VIDEO

These are now part of the ModPoPLUS syllabus, chapter 3 (week 5). The discussion was moderated by me and Anna Strong, and we were joined by ModPo’ers near and far: Alonna Shaw, Arif Dalvi, Mandana Chaffa, Nadia Ghent, Raymond Maxwell, and Shoshana Greenberg. Chris Martin and Zach Carduner did the filming, and Zach did the editing.

ModPo 2017 dates announced

Free, open, online course on modern and contemporary US poetry — you can enroll now

ModPo 2017 — our next intensive ten-week “symposium mode” — will begin on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Please share with your friends and encourage them to enroll. Enrolling in ModPo now or any time means you have access to everything now, but it also means you’ll be ready to do the ten-week intensive course all together starting in September. If you are and were already enrolled, you needn’t do anything to stay enrolled for our ten-week September–November session.

On close reading and pronouns

Rachel Blau DuPlessis

During an hourlong debate/discussion on Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall,” Rachel Blau DuPlessis spoke about close reading and pronouns. This video clip is six minutes long.

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