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James Gallagher

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The professor has an engaging personality. He has obviously taught this before and it shows in the organization of it and in the poems selected. The syllabus is fantastic. This course introduced me to many new poems, poets and styles of poetry. The seminar style is lively and keeps it real. The teaching assistants are brilliant and frequently have insightful things to say. As a humanities course the closest comparison is with Science Fiction and Fantasy. I took that course and while the readings were valuable, the ModPo 'video of a seminar' format is much more interesting. In terms of creating an interactive and personal vibe, the closest comparison would be with the original Artificial Intelligence course taught by Dr Thrun. But again ModPo does it even better by having multiple personalities available to keep things interesting. The forums were amazingly active and attracted several contemporary poets who were on the syllabus to participate. In addition there were connections to other active poetry websites with valuable resources This course has changed my life in that I have just purchased two volumes of the collected poems of John Ashbery. I think many other students are similarly stimulated and are still active in the course forums and in Facebook groups and other online venues weeks after the course has ended. You cannot ask for a better introduction to Modern and Contemporary American Poetry.