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 103 ratings

This is an extraordinary opportunity to engage with a community of poetry lovers from all over the world. Al Filreis and his team share with the participants in-depth analysis of poems, from Whitman and Dickinson to the wild contemporary experimental authors of our time. You'll never feel alone!

Enriching, wide reaching in scope. The Prof. Al Filreis lets ideas, not necessarily his own, in for debate and comment. The TAs are simply brilliant both in form and content. Bravo!

This has been the most educational and well-run course possible. I've played with MOOC's before, but no-one could possibly run a better course than Al Filreis, with his remarkable knowledge, academic bent, passion for the material and passion for teaching and his students. He is remarkable and the energy is palpable and contagious.

Coursera is a 5-Star platform. My hats off to them. I've never seen such a good course platform, and I can't imagine any better. Truly modular, mobile and bug-free.

5 Stars all the way!!

This is a terrific course, stimulating in content & analysis. The prof. is very dynamic & engaged, as are the TAs, the mentors & the students. The video-based readings of the poems, led by the prof., give the poems the completion they need in terms of understanding and appreciation (a poem is meant to be talked about; that is what brings it to life, I believe). Students get support from the mentors, the TAs & Al (the prof.) in the forums and give their own ideas, which are also enriching. To explore ideas concerning the U.S. in the 20th century and today, in connection to poetry and the uses of language was a worthwhile experience for me! There is lots of supplementary material, so you can delve into this as much as you want! The assignments are fair and appropriate. Highly recommended by me.