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IAP poetry course to mark 10th year

Pleasures of Poetry, the IAP literature course that offers poetry scholars and fans a daily hour-long reading and discussion session throughout January, celebrates its 10th year in 2008.

MIT literature and humanities faculty, staff and others select the poems and moderate the very wide-ranging discussions in a seminar setting. The course meets weekdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., in 14E-304 from Jan. 7 to Feb. 1, 2008. All sessions are free and open to the public.

As in previous years, Pleasures of Poetry offers an eclectic mix of poetry by classic and contemporary figures including John Milton, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and William Wordsworth, as well as Brenda Marie Osbey, Venus Khoury-Ghata and Grace Paley.

Literature Professor David Thorburn, director of the MIT Communications Forum, is the series' founder and organizer.

"I'm always surprised and inspired by the diversity and aesthetic energy of the poems our moderators choose," Thorburn said. "We're all volunteers, and each discussion leader selects poems that are personal favorites. This year there is a good selection of canonical English poems, as well as several provocative, unexpected texts. Our audiences are always a wonderful mix of students, faculty and staff from all parts of the Institute. I love the core message this activity sends every January: Poetry thrives at MIT."

For more information or to receive a packet of the poems, please e-mail Julie Saunders at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 12, 2007 (download PDF).

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