Capstone Experience: Poetry amid a Pandemic - Writing Intensive (online) ENGL 4970W Semester Spring Year 2021 Anne Myers Monday Wednesday Friday 11:00-11:50 Course Description It has become commonplace to say that 2020-2021 are “unprecedented” years. Certainly, they have been a time of disruption, of social, political, racial and economic unrest. It is common to see the arts, and poetry among them, as an escape from or adornment to “practical” problems of reality, such as those we are currently experiencing. In fact, the humanities are as instrumental to identifying, analyzing, protesting, and suggesting solutions to social and personal problems and conditions as the STEM fields are. This Capstone course emphasizes the regular reading of poetry by a wide range of poets ranging from the medieval period to the present day. This course, therefore, will have two aims: To develop a habit of reading poetry for pleasure, with confidence and enjoyment. To examine the ways in which poetry has been used as a problem-solving tool through engagement with the personal, social, political conditions that surround its creation. This course should be of interest to all readers and writers of poetry, or to anyone who wants to become a more confident reader of poetry. Because of the range of authors, forms and topics that will be covered, students will have a great deal of latitude in choosing the topic and angle for their term project, which will include both research and literary analysis. This online course may include some asynchronous elements, but discussions will be held synchronously via Zoom during the posted class times.