Office of the Registrar
Campus Address
Hanover, NH
Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
Fax: (603) 646-xxxx
Email: reg@Dartmouth.EDU

Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 53.48 Poetry for the People

The central concern of this class is the historical relationship between the social lives of everyday people and U.S. American poetics, with a special emphasis on what June Jordan once termed the “difficult miracle of Black poetry in America.” How does poetry help us to know one another? And how might we better understand the particular role of poetry, of poesis, for those historically barred from the very practice of reading or writing, from ownership (even of one’s own body), and various generally recognized forms of belonging? For the purposes of this course, these will be some of our animating questions.


As a group, we will study the works of Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Jericho Brown, and Claudia Rankine, among others. Largely toward the end of elaborating, in concert, a working theory of social poetics, a poetics of sociality, a new way for us to be together in a cultural moment marked by distance, as well as the disintegration of the public commons. In the midst of this ongoing catastrophe, this state of emergency and emergence, this course will seek to chart a way forward using the instruments left to us by luminaries both dead and living, a cloud of witnesses beckoning us toward a future with room enough for all of us to flourish.

Cross Listed Courses

AAAS 35.60

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:CI

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group III