This free, not-for-credit online course, the sixth installment in the multi-part HarvardX Poetry in America series, explores a diverse array of American Modernist poets and poems.  While “Modernism” is notoriously difficult to define, the movement spanned the decades from the 1910s to the mid-1940s, and the poetry of this period marked a clear break from past traditions and past forms.


Throughout this module, we will encounter such poets as Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Claude McKay, Dorothy Parker, and Wallace Stevens.  We will study how these poets employed the language of rejection and revolution, of making and remaking, of artistic appropriation and cultural emancipation, in creating an American poetic tradition that was new and different. Traveling to the homes and workplaces of Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens; to the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, where the institution of American Modernism was born; and even exploring the River Thames in the London of Eliot’s The Waste Land, we will see the sites that witnessed—and cultivated—the rise of American Modernism.


Before you begin, you can get a head start on Poetry in America: Modernism using the Module 6 Reading List.

We also invite you to explore the following resources to learn more about American Modernism:



Relevant Books by Module 6 Guest Discussants

More Books on Modernism and American Modernist Poets