Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Strongly influenced by the great poets of the Black Power/Black Arts movement of the mid- 1960s to the mid-1970s, contemporary Black poets are visionary, political, experimental, and are forces for social change. This course will largely emphasize writers who can be considered performance poets and whose work has been deeply concerned with interrogating systemic racism in the U.S. Students who take this course should be willing to participate actively, write frequently, and engage open-mindedly with the poetry we study together. This is a “W” competency course and also a PPD course; please keep in mind that the “W” competency certification is documented separately from your course grade on your final transcript.

Student Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand significant contemporary African American poets, poems, and related works, and their aesthetic, historical and cultural contexts
  2. Develop proficiency in close reading and in analyzing poetic techniques
  3. Reflect on issues of systemic racism and inequality in the U.S. and the causes and potential solutions (PPD course).
  4. Develop proficiency in planning, constructing, and executing analytical essays with particular attention to nuances of language, voice, argument, audience, and documentation (to earn a “W” competency).