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Ten Premodern Poems by Women

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 to Monday, June 15, 2015
Course topic: 

About This Course

10 Poets Promo

In this course, we will read ten significant premodern poems by women. We have chosen each poem to give you a sense of its structure as a poem and its importance as a form in its time. This course also reveals the roots each poem has in history, in slavery, in conventional thought and unorthodox opinion. Through the introductions to the poems, forum discussions with your fellow participants, and talks by Professor Boland and practicing poets and scholars, we will learn about how poets have fashioned life experience into verse, how to discuss poetry, and what poetry means for each of us today.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Staff

Professor Eavan Boland

Eavan Boland is Irish. She has been writer in residence at Trinity College and University College Dublin. She was poet in residence at the National Maternity Hospital during its 1994 Centenary. She has also been the Hurst Professor at Washington University and Regent's Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is on the board of the Irish Arts Council and a member of the Irish Academy of Letters. She is on the advisory board of the International Writers Center at Washington University. She has published ten volumes of poetry, the most recent being New Collected Poems (2008) and Domestic Violence (2007) and An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems 1967-87 (1996) with W.W. Norton. She has received the Lannan Award for Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award. She has published two volumes of prose: Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time and A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet which won a 2012 PEN Award for creative nonfiction.

Dr. Irena Yamboliev

Irena Yamboliev is Research Assistant for the course. Irena works on the intersection of literary prose style and nonverbal art objects in British literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, she looks at what happens when writers translate the decorative arts as models for their innovative, experimental narrative practices. More broadly, she is interested in color and its history and theory, Decadence, the literature of love, and computational approaches to text analysis. She received her PhD in English from Stanford in January 2015.

Dr. Kenneth Ligda

Kenny Ligda is the Project Manager and Platform Lead on the course. A scholar of twentieth-century literature, Kenny holds a doctorate in English literature, and is the Academic Technology Specialist for the Stanford English Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy a textbook?

No, all texts will be provided through the course platform.

Who is this class for?

This class is for anyone and everyone intrigued by poetry, the lives of poets, or history. No educational background is required--only an interest in the topic. Particular sections of the course provide a venue for educators to discuss the teaching of poetry.