Penn Prof Al Filreis to Host N.Y. Public Library Inaugural ‘ModPo’ MOOC Meet-up

In the New York City area, online students in a University of Pennsylvania massive open online course on modern poetry are getting the chance to meet offline.

The venue is the New York Public Library where learners in Penn English professor Al Filreis’Modern and Contemporary American Poetry” MOOC can gather for weekly in-person discussions.

Filreis will convene and moderate the first meet-up on Sept. 11 at the Hudson Park Library at 66 Leroy St. in Greenwich Village.

Meet-ups will be held 5:30-7 p.m. every Thursday during the 10-week course, with discussions focused on the poetry being studied that week.

The free, noncredit course is offered through Penn’s Kelly Writers House and Open Learning Initiative

"It's surely time,” Filreis said, “to extend the intense, communitarian, wide-open literary conversations that take place regularly at the Kelly Writers House to include anyone, anywhere who wants to join them. In cities with concentrations of ModPo participants, we want to find ways to collaborate with local groups and spaces. It's not hard because the urban public libraries are especially eager to create such partnerships."

Filreis, who is also KWH faculty director and director of Penn’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, has encouraged “ModPo” students to organize both virtual and face-to-face gatherings on the course study groups discussion forum.

“ModPo” explores modern and contemporary American poets working in the "experimental mode," starting with the 19th-century proto-modernists Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman and ending with 21st-century conceptual poetics.

The next “ModPo “­­­­course begins Sept. 6 with registration at

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