Tag: modernism

  • Not with a whimper but a bang!

    Actually, that title sounds sexual–sorry. I MEAN to tell you how my year is ending, show off some cool student work, and wish you a happy solstitial impeachment frenzy. My happy news–honored above by a photo of Ursula ecstatic about catnip–is receiving a Katherine Bakeless Nason Scholarship to Breadloaf Environmental Writers Conference this June. This […]

  • Modernism in Native American Heritage Month

    Some terrific people at my university just organized our first ever Native American Heritage Month, involving two lectures, two documentaries, and a poetry reading with tastings of traditional foods. I made it to four out of five events, and every one was interesting, moving, and really fun–I’m so grateful to the organizers for their work. […]

  • Teaching US Poetry from 1900-1950

    I started teaching modernism as a graduate student, leading discussion sections for Walt Litz at Princeton in ’91. When I arrived at W&L in ’94, I resolved to teach much more diverse syllabi: I put the version of modernism I’d studied in conversation with the New Negro Renaissance and included many women writers (Walt’s syllabus […]

  • Imaginary journals with real poems in them

    If you’re not enjoying what you’re grading, maybe the problem lies in the assignment. I think I’m right in attributing this provocation to Paul Hanstedt, either during a faculty development talk he gave here or on a long-ago Facebook post, but at any rate, it was electrifying, and resulted in real changes in my course design. […]

  • Krazy Kat among the nasturtiums

    COMICS=POETRY+GRAPHIC DESIGN, says Austin Kleon, who is, in turn, reprising Gregory Gallant, a.k.a. Seth–but wherever the formula comes from, I love the possibilities it raises for both comics and poetry as media. It’s my starting point for a paper I’m giving at the Modernist Studies Association conference very soon. I’ll be discussing the 1920 Krazy […]

  • Poetry by the Sea, Pt. 1: Edna Rules

    “Edna rules!” a woman declared to me in the hotel hallway, waving a vigorous fist. “I mean, Vincent!” I organized a panel  on Edna St. Vincent Millay for Poetry by the Sea, an annual writing conference in Madison, Connecticut. The other speakers were Anna Lena Phillips Bell speaking about Millay as an ecopoet; January Gill […]

  • Collaboration

    Lone wolf humanist here to tell you that while reading and writing in solitude are some of my favorite things, experiences with intellectual and artistic collaboration have astonished me, shaking loose all kinds of work and thinking I might never have otherwise produced. As poets Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton say in this great piece–which […]

  • Why Edna St. Vincent Millay ate herbs in Dorset

    Most of the female poets I read as a young woman had no children, or one. They steered clear of sexual relationships with men or, not having access to birth control, sought abortions. This fact had a terrible fascination for me in my early twenties, especially since the zero-or-one rule also held among so many […]

  • Valentine’s Day in the uncanny valley

    On Valentine’s Day, I was asking my class about the psychedelic weirdness in Natalie Diaz’s poems about her brother’s meth addiction, when I suddenly realized I felt surreal myself: headache, vertigo, a conviction the last leftover scraps of bo ssam had not been such a good lunch plan after all. I muddled through a few […]

  • Dancing to Loy: teaching modernist poetry and performance

    This is the moment in the term when some of my craziest teaching experiments come to fruition (or wither pathetically on the vine). I always assign something fun or peculiar in the last week or two of the semester, in part to combat exhaustion as everyone faces down final papers and exams, and in part […]