MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2017

Pleasures of Poetry 2017

Noel Jackson, Moderator, Associate Professor of Literature

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

This popular activity – which aims to reach all lovers of poetry – has been offered every IAP for the last twenty years.  Each one-hour session is devoted to a single poet, usually a single poem.  The goal is discussion and shared pleasure.  No lectures or professorial arrogance allowed. Some participants attend every session, but many others attend only once or twice to read and discuss a favorite poet or poem.  The roster of poets is always immensely diverse: from ancient Chinese masters to contemporary American poets laureate, from such famous Greats as Shakespeare, Keats, and Auden to Dr. Seuss and Bob Dylan.  Discussion and collaborative close readings are the aim and ideal of each hour.

Join us for this month-long series as we study and enjoy the scope of poetry with the rest of the MIT community.

Visit to view our full POP 2017 calendar and selection of poems

Sponsor(s): Literature
Contact: Chloe Jones, 14N-407, 617 258-5629, CJJONES@MIT.EDU

Herman Melville

Jan/09 Mon 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Herman Melville, "The House-top (A Night Piece, 1863)"

Wyn Kelley - Moderator, Senior Lecturer of Literature

Geoffrey Hill

Jan/10 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Geoffrey Hill "Respublica"; "Ovid in the Third Reich"; "On Seeing the Wind at Hope Mansell"

Daniel Pritchard - Moderator

Wislawa Szymborska

Jan/11 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Wislawa Szymborska "Lot's Wife"; "A Contribution to Statistics"

Rosemary Booth - Moderator

Rafael Alberti

Jan/12 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Rafael Alberti "Open Letter"

Zachary Bos - Moderator

T.S. Eliot

Jan/13 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

T.S. Eliot "Preludes"

James Buzard - Moderator, Professor & Interim Head of Literature

Adrienne Rich

Jan/17 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Adrienne Rich "Origins and History of Consciousness" & "Power"

Anne Hudson - Moderator

W.H. Auden

Jan/18 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

W.H. Auden "Musée des Beaux Arts"; "Lullaby"

Howard Eiland - Moderator

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Jan/19 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Samuel Taylor Coleridge "The Nightingale"

Noel Jackson - Moderator, Associate Professor of Literature

Rosemary Tonks

Jan/20 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Rosemary Tonks "The Sash Window"; "Apprentice"; "Diary of a Rebel"

Stephen Pepper - Moderator

John Dryden & more

Jan/23 Mon 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

John Dryden "A Song for St. Cecilia's Day"

James Merrill "Angel"

Robert Creeley "Water Music"

Robert Pinsky "Street Music"

Martin Marks - Moderator, Senior Lecturer of Music & Theater Arts

George Gascoigne

Jan/24 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

George Gascoigne "Gasgoigne's Lullaby"

David Thorburn - Moderator, Professor of Literature & founder of POP


Jan/25 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Pearl (trans. MB & SA)

Arthur Bahr - Moderator, Associate Professor of Literature


Jan/26 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

a selection of anonymous sonnets

Alvin Kibel - Moderator, Professor of Literature

Robert Frost

Jan/27 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Robert Frost "The Gift Outright"

Ana Schwartz - Moderator, Predoctoral Fellow of Literature Section

John Berryman

Jan/30 Mon 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

John Berryman "Dream Song 1"

Stephen Tapscott - Professor of Literature

Alice Walker & Gwendolyn Brooks

Feb/01 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Alice Walker "Be Nobody's Darling"

Gwendolyn Brooks "We Real Cool"

Sandy Alexandre - Moderator, Associate Professor of Literature

Elizabeth Bishop

Feb/02 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Elizabeth Bishop "Pink Dog" & "The Shampoo"

Joaquin Terrones - Moderator, Lecturer of Literature

Ranjit Bhatnagar Pentametron (Twitter)

Feb/03 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

Ranjit Bhatnagar, Pentametron (Twitter)

Nick Montfort - Moderator, Associate Professor of Digital Media