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.
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 Poems, titled Alive. This link
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.
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 — 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.
Mandana EM Chaffa organized a ModPo meet-up in NYC (which Emily Harnett and Ali Castleman and others attended) and here is what Mandana wrote afterwards:
“Can poetry offer solace in times of turmoil? How do aleatory poetry and chance operations reflect our modern society and the impact of so many sources of information? How does Week 9 — and Week 10 — poetry circle back to where we started two and a half months ago? That, and more, was on the table (except that we didn’t use a table) during this last NYC ModPo meet-up for 2016, with our very special guests and amazing TAs, Emily Harnett and Ali Castleman. They are even more awesome in person than on your screens.
ModPo people gather at a coffee shop in Los Angeles on October 22, 2016, to record an improvised collaborative close reading of Frank O'Hara's "Les Luths." HERE is a link to the video they made. HERE is a link to ModPo's collection/augmented syllabus called "CCCR" (Community Collaborative Close Readings).
On January 17, 2016, I met up with about 60 people at the Center for the Book in San Francisco to talk collaboratively about a poem by Joanne Kyger that goes by its first line, "When I used to focus on the worries." I had traveled with Zach Carduner and Chris Martin and they managed to bring along their recording equipment and have produced a video of high quality — notwithstanding the rather impromptu arrangement.
The poet and translator Yosuke Tanaka visited Philadelphia and the Kelly Writers House in late 2014. The purpose of his visit was threefold: to join a scientific conference on cell biology; to see the Writers House in person after spending much time there virtually as a participant in the open online course called “ModPo”; and to sit down in the Wexler Studio with Ariel Resnikoff to talk about contemporary Japanese poetry.