Notes toward a pedagogy of ModPo

Published in the June 2023 issue of Marsh Hawk Press Review — some of my speculations on what has been happening in our open, open-ended online course on poetry in the past decade. I attempt to describe an emergent learner-centered learning that is motivated by certain kinds of poems and situates itself in a third space. The opening sentences: “Whenever I write these days about poetry I express an intense interest in the poem, poem by poem and poetic project by poetic project. Yet what comes through is an even keener concern about collaborative interpretation generally, about our uses and misuses of — and recently our panics over — the technologies that make such collaboration possible at a large scale. Pondering the origins of the interests that have made ModPo — a free, non-credit, open online course—possible, I realize that I am seeking to connect such a social or civic mode of reception with the supposedly difficult, putatively opaque poets and poems I admire and as an educator feel a strong instinct to share (and which I have presented in college classes and open public forums for forty years by now).”