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Thu, Jun 08


chax class online

4 Steps to the Modern Poem II (online sessions)

Lecture & Discussions on the work of four major modernist writer/poets: Gertrude Stein, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Mina Loy, and Barbara Guest.

4 Steps to the Modern Poem II (online sessions)

Time & Location

Last available date

Jun 08, 1:30 PM – Jul 06, 3:00 PM

chax class online


About The Event

4 Steps to the Modern Poem II features the work of four major modernist poets/writers. The sessions will include lecture and discussion. Readings will be announced in advance to all who have registered for the course. The first session will feature an introduction to modernist poetry, and an introduction to the class and the four writers we will consider. No preparatory reading is required for the first class. 

Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:00pm Mountain Standard Time (Arizona). June 8 through July 6.

The cost is $160, the same for the in-person and on-line version of the class. Individuals who sign up for the in-person class may take the online version for just $50 if they wish.

The instructor, Charles Alexander, is the founder/director of Chax Press. He is currently teaching at both the University of Arizona and Pima Community College, and has been on the faculty at the University of Houston-Victoria and at Naropa University. His teaching has included graduate and undergraduate courses in both literature and creative writing, as well as courses in letterpress printing and the book arts.  He holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was a legend as a host and as one of the centers of Parisian and expatriate American art and literary culture. American, she was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Oakland, California. She wrote essays, fiction, portraits, plays, poetry, and more, including works which are cross-genre and unclassifiable. She was noted as an art collector, and only became celebrated as the great American writer she is, with the development of feminist criticism in the 1970s, and with the emergence of "language" poetry, for which she is one of the primary forebears. In this course we will consider her prose/poetry work, Tender Buttons, as well as selections from her plays and from her late work, "Stanzas in Meditation."

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle, 1886-1961) was celebrated in her life as an "Imagist" poet, and later became known as author of two of the finest long poems in American literature, Trilogy and Helen in Egypt. She also wrote fiction, memoir, and verse drama. Born in Pennsylvania, she moved to London in 1911. She was once engaged to Ezra Pound, and was treated by Sigmund Freud. In 1918 she met the novelist Bryher, who was her romantic partner and close friend until her death. In this class we will look briefly at H.D.'s short poems, but move quickly to Trilogy and Helen in Egypt.

Mina Loy (1882-1966) was British-born, lived in Europe through the early modernist period, then in Europe and New York again, became a U.S. citizen in 1945, then moved in 1953 to Aspen, Colorado, where she lived until her death from penumonia. She is known as an artist, writer, poet, playwright, novelist, painter, designer of lamps, and famous bohemian. She achieved literary recognition only posthumously, though her poetry was admired by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Basil Bunting, Gertrude Stein, and many others. "Love Songs to Johannes" is one of her finest set of poems, and, along with "Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose," appear in her life's work collection, The Last Lunar Baedeker (Jargon Society edition, 1982).

Barbara Guest (1920-2006), a later modernist or post-modernist, wrote poetry and prose, including theoretical works and art criticism. She first became known as a member of the first generation New York School of poetry (along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and others), but soared to late-life attention when she moved to California, where she had been raised, with her celebration by women poets of the 1970s and later, including those who developed the HOW(ever) project in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. Among her many works are Fair Realism and Defensive Rapture, which we will consider, as well as her essays included in Forces of Imagination: Writing on Writing.

4 Steps to the Modern Poem I, a 2023 predecessor to this course, featured study of Stephane Mallarmé, William Butler Yeats, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Wallace Stevens. 





  • 4 Steps to the Modern Poem II


    Tuition for all sessions of the course. Sessions on Tuesdays, 1:30pm MST.






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