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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Where are the Introductions (part 2)


For some reason the previous post didn't allow me to continue. So I continue here. I'm wondering if there is a concensus on the important writers and poets now, the way that Hemingway, Faulkner and Joyce used to be. Or important poets the way that T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas used to be -- for example. I'm wondering if there is agreement. I'm going to ask one of my professors who I believe is either still teaching or recently retired. He would know, but I'm wondering what you think. Not interested in the older ones, but the ones being taught now. You know, in the survey courses. Thanks, Zak
Nov/6/2011, 8:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


That is a good question, Zak. Answers to which I cannot supply. Kat and Chris might be able to. Ms P. as well. Let us know what your prof has to say.

Tere
Nov/6/2011, 8:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


Here is a start for you. List gives Creeley as still alive. But he died a couple of years ago. So list is two years in the arrears.

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/country/America/contemporary/American_poets.html

Tere
Nov/6/2011, 8:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


Terreson,

First, with regards to the list of poets: It's good to have the list, and I intend to look at it; maybe at some sample poems. However, what I had in mind was the college survey course where they pick just a few British romantics, like Byron and Keats, and a few Americans, like Longfellow and Whitman. Then for the more modern times, they have a few like T.S. Eliot, maybe Ezra Pound and Dylan Thomas. Because they cover every period, they can only put in five or six for each era or phase. So I'm wondering which five or six writers or poets are being included in today's survey classes for college sophomores. I still intend to write my professor.

I went to college in 1967, did nearly three years in the army and came back in 1971 and stayed till 1974 in lit. I'm not sure when you were in school, but get the impression that some of the other people here are younger, so I would be interested in learning who the current writers and poets were in their own survey courses.

Also, I went to the Dew place you mentioned here. There is a running conversation there, but no real bio on people. It might be that people are reluctant to reveal too much, kind of like in Facebook. Supposedly there are 600,000 accounts hacked there on a regular basis. It's always a problem: How to communicate, how to "advertise yourself" like Norman Mailer, without being hacked. A modern conundrum. Thanks, Zak

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Terreson wrote:

Here is a start for you. List gives Creeley as still alive. But he died a couple of years ago. So list is two years in the arrears.

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/country/America/contemporary/American_poets.html

Tere



Nov/7/2011, 8:03 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


I'm wondering which five or six writers or poets are being included in today's survey classes for college sophomores.

Good question, Zak. I don't know either but would be interested in finding out.
Nov/7/2011, 11:28 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


Katlin, Terreson, et al,

I did write my friend, who still teaches lit. I asked him the question about the college survey classes. Below is what he told me. Of course, it's only one professor's perspective, but it's probably close to the actual development.

STARTS HERE: He tells me that poetry in post-midcentury is all about “inclusion.” Apparently there is an attempt to include various ethnic groups, and regional, etc.— in the anthologies. I believe my friend is a conservative, and so thought doing this was “dicey.” Interesting that he didn’t mention that including women was risky (questionable), too. Maybe he just forgot, or maybe women were already being included in the first half of the 20th century. I had mentioned T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas for the first half of the 20th Century. He said I had missed Frost (US), WC Williams (US) and maybe Stevens (US) and Yeats (Brit). He said after that it was a sort of grab-bag. He considered Robert Lowell a major American of the 1970s or so, along with Elizabeth Bishop. He liked Theodore Roethke, too, and James Dickey on the US side of the ledger—and maybe Ted Hughes among the Brits.

Living/contemporary poets some of whom were establishing themselves in the ‘70s & ‘80s included Seamus Heaney (Brit), W.S. Merwin & Gary Snyder (US). More nearly “contemporary” are Billy Collins (very popular US), Sharon Olds (US), Adrienne Rich (US), Stephen Dunn (US), & Derek Walcott (Brit—St. Lucia, so that gives you a black writer). These are pretty reliable “major” selections, though not necessarily his personal favorites. These are among the most often anthologized & taught.

And for other writers (non-poets), Cormac McCarthy is a highly successful contemporary novelist in the US. He’s teaching a seminar on him & Faulkner in the spring. Of course there’s Toni Morrison. Among the Brits he likes Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, Ondaatje, Ian McEwan & John Banville—you’ll note that most of these hail from the former “empire”. He’s currently teaching a course in contemporary African writers, including Coetzee & a fine Nigerian woman novelist named Chimimandra Adichie—Ben Okri is pretty big-time, too, and Chinua Achebe is still alive & writing . Achebe is the “grand old man” of African writers, though his classic, Things Fall Apart, only dates back to 1958. Some argue that it defines modern postcolonial sub-Saharan African writing.

American fiction writers my friend admires are Flannery O’Connor (died about 1964), Eudora Welty, Raymond Carver, Saul Bellow, Don DeLillo (a postmodernist), Jane Smiley, Philip Roth . David Foster Wallace (recent suicide) has experienced rising stock but my friend doesn’t know whether he’ll last. My friend is a big fan of Tobias Wolff and many others not on the list! He knows he’s left out a lot of popular people like Virginia Wolfe and John Steinbeck. But I was asking him about the second half of the 20th Century and even to today.
ENDS HERE

quote:

Katlin wrote:

I'm wondering which five or six writers or poets are being included in today's survey classes for college sophomores.

Good question, Zak. I don't know either but would be interested in finding out.



Nov/9/2011, 2:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


Thanks, Zak, for posting the list your friend provided. If I get any insights into current teaching trends, I will post them and hope others do too.
Nov/10/2011, 10:04 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


Checking out what is being anthologized is one way of finding out what is being taught:

“The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry” ruffles feathers. Duh.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2011/11/the-penguin-anthology-of-twentieth-century-american-poetry-ruffles-feathers-duh/
Nov/10/2011, 3:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


Katlin,

What prompted me to write him about the question, and what prompted me to ask you guys were the discussions I follow sometimes on the internet. There seem to be two or three worlds of poetry that move in parallel but separate worlds. For example, my friend says that Billy Collins is being taught. However, on one of the boards I follow (I only follow two), Billy Collins is considered pedestrian. Maybe he is here, too. After reading about him in such a bad light I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of his poetry. The two or three poems I read of his were not edgy, not avant garde, not creative in the post-modernist sense -- but they were quite good. They were, above all, very readable. Dare I say they were readable to the average person?

I recognized a lot of the other names that my friend listed, particularly the names of the women poets. My friend mentioned that today it's all about inclusion. Somewhere else I read that we are all a bunch of little islands. He hinted at that, too. The internet potentially creates a lot of mini-worlds. This probably makes it even more difficult to come up with an anthology. I read some poetry, but my sense is that some of you read far more poetry than I do, and can probably speak more more intelligently about this than I can. Zak

quote:

Katlin wrote:

Checking out what is being anthologized is one way of finding out what is being taught:

“The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry” ruffles feathers. Duh.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2011/11/the-penguin-anthology-of-twentieth-century-american-poetry-ruffles-feathers-duh/



Nov/10/2011, 5:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Where are the Introductions (part 2)


Good on you, Zak. It's a big project you're taking on. Not something many poetry writers bother themselves with, unfortunately. I tend to agree with you that the American poetry scene has become balkanized. Nor am I sure that is a bad thing. Something occurs to me. It would be interesting to ask the same question of a lit type teacher living in New York or San Francisco.

Tere
Nov/11/2011, 2:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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