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American Idiom: Poets of the Later 20th and Early 21st Century***MAKE-UP SESSION SCHEDULED


American Idiom:
Poets of the Later 20th and Early 21st Century



Fall session: Six Tuesdays, October 16-November 27 (no class Election Day, November 6), 3:00—4:30 PM.


$120 ($100 members)

*When registering, please provide an email address for weekly communications.


*Above the River: The Complete Poems, James Wright (This title is currently unavailalbe from the publisher. The instructor will provide copies of the poems to be discussed.)

White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946-2006, Donald Hall


Due to the weather-related cancellation of the Tuesday, Oct. 30 session, American Idiom will hold a make-up session on Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 3:00-4:30





In 2012-13, we will revert to our traditional format of reading two poets a session over three sessions within the academic year. After roaming over space and time in the past few years, we will return to poets who have been writing within our lifetimes. We’ll base our reading loosely on the question of what makes an American poetic idiom. “Idiom” is defined both as a phrase whose meaning cannot be understood from the dictionary definition of each separate word, and as a form of expression natural to a person, language or group. “Kick the bucket, hang one’s head, raining cats and dogs” are just a few examples of idiom. We’ll ask the question: what is it that makes American poetry distinctive?

In the fall we will read two quintessentially American writers active in mid-20th-century and beyond: James Wright and Donald Hall. Winter will bring us to Galway Kinnell and W.S. Merwin, and in the spring we will read Lucille Clifton and Natasha Trethewey, the new Poet Laureate.

Do join us this fall. It will be both comfortable and eye-opening to read the poetry of our own time. Those returning to the group will benefit from the enhanced perspective of having read poetry from many different time periods. Welcome newcomers will bring their fresh viewpoint. No experience necessary; just pleasure in the company of others.


Gigi Bradford is the President of the Folger Shakespeare Library Poetry Board.

Promotional Period: 
Oct 16 2012 - Nov 27 2012

ISBN-13: 9780374522827
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 4/1992

ISBN-13: 9780618919994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books, 12/2007