Poetry in America for Credit

Led by Harvard Professor Elisa New, the Poetry in America series chronicles the history of American poetry from the Puritans to the present day. Offered in semester-long modules, the sequence is now being offered through the Harvard Extension School for undergraduate- and graduate-level credit; there is also a noncredit enrollment option.

PLEASE NOTE:  Noncredit enrollees in ENGL E-300 | Poetry in America: The City from Whitman to Hip Hop are eligible to receive 90 professional development hours from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Educators in New York who take ENGL E-300 are eligible to receive 90 CTLE hours from Poetry in America.

Fall 2019 Course Offerings

See the Harvard Extension School Course Catalog for more information.


Through video lectures, archival images and texts, expeditions to historic sites, interpretive seminars with large and small groups, interviews with poets and scholars, and conversations about poems with distinguished Americans, Poetry in America takes learners on a journey through the literature of a nation. Along the way, distinguished guests—including Bill Clinton, Elena Kagan, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Eve Ensler, John McCain, Andrea Mitchell, Michael Pollan, Drew Faust, Tony Kushner, Billy Collins, and Nas, among others—bring fresh perspectives to the study of American poetry.

By enrolling in Poetry in America, students learn: