Course Description

IN PERSON: Are you a poet or a lover of literature? In this discussion-based course, we will turn our attention to poems that focus on historical topics. Known as documentary poetry, like documentary film and creative nonfiction, poems in this genre capture a time and place in history. We will primarily read work by this diverse set of award-winning poets: Elizabeth Bradfield, Rita Dove, Diane Gilliam Fisher, Patricia Smith and Natasha Trethewey. Subjects for these documentary poems follow the history of polar exploration, familial relationships, the West Virginia coal mining wars, Hurricane Katrina and the red-light district of New Orleans in the early 1900s. We will consider the unique ways that poets broach subject matter, as well as the distinctions between documentary poetry and poetry of witness. Discussions will address topics, themes, craft and the social value/relevance of the genre. | Facilitated discussion.

Max enrollment: 12.

Location: Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Rd, Durham NC 27705

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Poetry as Windows to the Past
Classroom - In Person
9:00AM to 10:30AM
Jan 30, 2024 to Apr 02, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Classroom - In Person  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Please note: Students will need to acquire the books listed for class. We will discuss the first half of "Approaching Ice" before the first class.

Required reading:
Elizabeth Bradfield, "Approaching Ice:Poems" (9780892553556)
Rita Dove, "Thomas and Beulah" (9780887480218)
Diane Fisher, "Kettle Bottom" (9780966045970)
Patricia Smith, "Blood Dazzler" (9781566892186)

Required fields are indicated by .