A Canon of American Poets

Back to the syllabus

The list below of American poets will be the basis for the class website project, which then will constitute the material for the final exam. Each student will choose one poet from this list and will prepare an informative website about that poet.

My own Emily Dickinson site will be the basic model for your individual site projects. Each site must include:

  1. A brief biography of the poet, giving dates of birth and death (if dead), education, residence (where significant), major life events.
  2. A capsule primary bibliography of major publications by the poet.
  3. A ten-item secondary bibliography of recent and major commentary on the poet's work (this can include reviews).
  4. A brief critical paragraph giving your appraisal of the poet's work.
  5. A brief excerpt from the poet's work, where that work is in public domain or where you have obtained express permission to reproduce it.
  6. Links to everything you can find on the World Wide Web that is of relevance to the items listed above.
  7. Visuals are not required but are welcome; again, make sure you have express permission from the owner to reproduce any copyrighted material.

We will do presentations on these poets in the following order, so that we maintain a chronology of presentations. Be aware that by signing up for an early poet you are signing up for an early presentation date. New on 29 Jan: tentative project assignments

  1. Ann Bradstreet
  2. Edward Taylor (Mario Ezeh)
  3. Phillis Wheatley (Michelle Brockington)
  4. William Cullen Bryant
  5. Lydia Sigourney
  6. Ralph Waldo Emerson (Christie Bonham)
  7. Edgar Allan Poe (Andrea Sandoval)
  8. Walt Whitman (Geraldina Cobos)
  9. Paul Laurence Dunbar
  10. Stephen Crane (Corinne Aldert)
  11. Edwin Arlington Robinson
  12. Robert Frost (Alex King)
  13. Wallace Stevens
  14. William Carlos Williams (Rebecca Johnson)
  15. Marianne Moore (Lauren Jerram)
  16. Langston Hughes (Amy Wethington)
  17. Claude McKay (Sharon Greene)
  18. Countee Cullen
  19. Elizabeth Bishop (Heather Moore)
  20. Gwendolyn Brooks (Leslie Brown)
  21. Muriel Rukeyser
  22. Josephine Miles
  23. Adrienne Rich (Jayme Bunderson)
  24. Sylvia Plath (Yolanda Stoker)
  25. Frank O'Hara
  26. Anne Sexton (Roy Whitfill)
  27. Allen Ginsberg (Michelle Heath)
  28. Amiri Baraka
  29. Richard Howard
  30. Lorna Dee Cervantes (Dominique Gonzales)
  31. Audre Lorde (Dawn Bien)
  32. Carolyn Forché
  33. Maya Angelou (Margaret Dreadin)
  34. Ai
  35. Rita Dove (Reagan Lister)
  36. Simon Ortiz (Margot Smith)