ENG 529 - Listen! American Poetry in the Age of the MP3

Prof. Steve Evans • Summer 2007 • English DepartmentUniversity of Maine
This summer session graduate seminar (CRN 12205) meets weekday afternoons between July 9-27, 1:15-4PM

In this course we'll explore the sonic archive of modern and contemporary poetry, focusing on the art of interpreting poems not just as printed texts but as voiced structures whose meaning can be "sounded" as well as seen. In addition to hearing, seeing, and reading a wide variety of poetry, we'll make use of secondary literature from the fields of literary criticism, poetics, linguistics, prosody, speech pragmatics, and the new media to fashion a supple critical vocabulary for the description, interpretation, and evaluation of poetry soundfiles. We'll also work with sound editing and analysis software applications (Audacity, Praat) that allow us to visualize the sound shape of poetic language. In addition to conventional writing assignments, students can also expect to program a radio segment (to be aired on WMEB) and to make regular postings to a course blog.

No background in poetry or new media is required for this introductory course. May be of special interest to teachers interested in integrating new media into their lesson plans and to poets seeking to hone their performance styles. For more information contact the instructor at steven dot evans at umit dot maine dot edu (or here).