Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4800W NANCE, ANDREW M 3 :35 PM 0067


Speculative Practices: Urgency and Reckoning in Poetry

What might it mean for language in a work of literature to have, as Jorie Graham describes them, “accurate failures”? What’s the difference between “vagueness or inaccuracy” in writing and writing that gets itself into “danger legitimately so that we may be genuinely saved,” as Robert Frost wrote? In this course, we will endeavor to increase our understanding of poetic speech by (re)investigating some fundamental questions about the poem itself as a linguistic act. We will focus mainly on American poetry that is unabashedly urgent in relation to its own circumstances in some way—whether this urgency be socio-political, romantic, or existential in nature (to name but a few possibilities). 

Required Texts:

Ben Lerner,The Lichtenberg Figures (Copper Canyon Press, 9781619320734)
Lucie Brock-Broido, The Master Letters (Knopf, 9780307557827)
Solmaz Sharif, Look (Graywolf Press, 9781555977443)
Claudia Rankine, Citizen (Graywolf Press, 9780141981772)
Anne Boyer,Garments Against Women (Ahsahta Press, 9781934103593)
Dana Ward, The Crisis of Infinite Worlds (Futurepoem Books, 9780982279885)
Ariana Reines, Mercury (Fence Books, 9781934200476)
Juliana Spahr, That Winter the Wolf Came (Commune Editions, 9781934639177)
Graham Foust, Nightingalelessness (Flood Editions, 9780998169545)