The Atlantic + Poetry in America on Small Towns

On Monday, Atlantic columnist and Poetry in America guest James Fallows covered our most recent project for Notes, the blog section of The Atlantic. James and Deborah Fallows were among our guest interpreters for our week on the Modernism of Chicago and the Midwest, talking about their “American Futures” project and small-town life in Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology.

Poetry in America: Modernism launched on April 6, and will run live through June. Registration is open and free.

The modernist poetry (and fiction) of a century ago has been on our mind during our travels across small-town America, since so much of its subject matters was the bleakness, cruelty, but also grit of early-20th rural and small town life. This is what Spoon River was about! So it was a privilege to be able to discuss this with an actual expert. As the years go by, I find poetry and fiction rising in their relative explanatory power and value — and obviously I’m talking about changes in my own perception rather than difference in the work. Thanks to Lisa New and her team for making this course available.”
– James Fallows

Check out The Atlantic coverage, and watch the two videos on small-town life and Spoon River Anthology featuring James and Deb Fallows from Poetry in America: Modernism.

The first, on “Mrs. Kessler” from Spoon River Anthology:


And a second, on “Aner Clute” from Spoon River Anthology: