Poets on Poetry, Yesterday and Today: Toward the Open Field


Course Description

Recently in the United States, the NEA reported that nearly 12 percent of adults read poetry in 2017; that’s roughly 28 million people! Those numbers are up by 5 percent from a previous survey in 2012. On the other hand, fiction reading appears to be down. So why this growth in poetry reading from the general public and why now? In the book, Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950, we look at the words of poets themselves as a guide to explore the joys and complexities of the art form. Class discussions will centre on questions such as the following: What is poetry? How has the idea of poetry changed over the years? What makes poetry different from other art forms? What is the role of the poet in the 21st century?

Writing by the poets mentioned in Toward the Open Field will be distributed throughout the class sessions. Further essays and articles by critics will also be analyzed, for example, “Can Poetry Matter?” by Dana Gioia. Supplementary writings on poetry by traditional and contemporary poets will be featured, including Rupi Kaur, Dean Young, Matthew Zapruder, Mary Ruefle, Claudia Rankine, and more.

Please note, that all courses have a maximum enrollment of 18 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday, January 7th 2020

Course Length: 8 weeks, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Discussion Team: Jim Cullen, Matthew Rettino, Greg Santos

Course Fee: 

$130.00 (tuition fee)

$86.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$160.00 (tuition fee)

$116.00 (promotion for new students)


Please note, degree students must schedule an appointment with the Admissions and Accreditation Committee to register for courses for this term. Degree students should not register online.

The course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session.


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