Who is this class for: ModPo is for those who are new to poetry. And it is for those who have always loved poetry but not yet studied modern and/or experimental poetry. And it is also for poets and critics and teachers who want to see what happens when a community of thousands come together to talk about poems such folks already know well. In short: ModPo will work, in some way, for anyone and everyone!

Created by:   University of Pennsylvania

  • Al Filreis

    Taught by:    Al Filreis, Kelly Professor, Dir. Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, Faculty Dir. Kelly Writers House

How To PassPass all graded assignments to complete the course.
User Ratings
4.9 stars
Average User Rating 4.9See what learners said


Is this course free?

Are there any pre-requisites for ModPo?

Will I earn a certificate if I complete ModPo?

It seems that ModPo is an “on demand” course, and yet you talk about a 10-week “session” from early September to late November. Can you explain?

I’ve heard about the weekly live webcasts? What are these?

So is ModPo really a “course”?

Who is Al Filreis?

How It Works

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

Help from Your Peers
Help from Your Peers

Connect with thousands of other learners and debate ideas, discuss course material, and get help mastering concepts.

University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.
Ratings and Reviews
Rated 4.9 out of 5 of 90 ratings

Very well thought. Amazing selection and gives a complete coverage of the subject matter. Amazing amazing TAs and others who accompany Al. A great way to learn American Poetry. The best that's out there. And them giving a completion certificate from UPenn for free is really kind of them.

This course amazingly uses all modern communication facilities to create intellectual and other ties between tens of thousands of people all over the globe, succeeding at making it a very personal course in which every single person is invited to take part. All is made possible by the never ending work and creation done by Prof Al Filreis and the loving intelligent ever giving people in his team.

Each course participant may get deeply involved in the discussions, and threads, and write essays, and read peer essays, and call in, and write mails, or, as I chose to do, stand by and watch and read and listen without getting personally involved.

This course has surely changed many people's lives!!!

If you are interested in contemporary poetry, this course is like finding a treasure chest. The prepared materials are absolutely excellent, but the real draw of this course is the vibrant discussion forum with fellow classmates, teaching assistants, and the professor (!). Discussion threads are created for each poem in the course, as well as for general topics such as help for people "hopelessly lost," local study groups, teachers bringing Modern & Contemporary American poetry into their classrooms, and a range of other topics. The forums are a fun and busy buzzing hive of activity. Live webcasts each week from the Kelly Writers House also add to the feeling of immediacy and community. You won't regret taking this course. It put other MOOCs to shame.

In both its content and its pedagogy, this is the best MOOC I've taken. Highly recommended.