Department of English

Erin Yanota

MA in English Literature, UT Austin



Transatlantic modernisms; poetry & poetics; women's writing; religion & literature; classical reception


E 314L • Reading Poetry

35885 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM PAR 304

E 314L  l  5-Reading Poetry

Instructor:  Yanota, E

Unique #:  35885

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a


Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

Description:  “[P]oetry makes nothing happen,” writes W.H. Auden in his elegy for fellow poet W.B. Yeats.  In this course, we will consider what (if anything) poetry can make happen, by looking at the various ways in which British, US-American, and Canadian Anglophone poetry from a range of historical periods has negotiated its public and private functions.  Beginning with a unit on close reading, this course will equip you to consider a poem’s meaning in light of the form and poetic devices it uses, and in light of larger theoretical issues such as the lyric and documentary poetic traditions.

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.

They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course carries a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will constitute a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Reading List:  Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric; Layli Long Soldier, Whereas; A selection of poems and other short reading assignments available online or via Canvas.

Requirements & Grading:  Three essays will make up 75% of the final grade, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the instructor.  The remainder of each student’s grade (25%) will consist of brief writing skills exercises and creative assignments; an annotated bibliography; and a discussion leadership assignment.

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