Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Late Modernist Poetry
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay Assignment  5000 Words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Essay Assignment  5000 Words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the formal and thematic features of late modernist poetry.

Situate late modernist poems in their social, political, historical, and/or literary-historical contexts.

Draw upon relevant critical or theoretical sources to explore late modernist poems’ concerns with place, time, and/or memory.

Write in a focused, scholarly, and critically informed manner about late modernist poetry.

Brief description

This module introduces students to the extraordinary work of a group of second-generation modernist writers from both sides of the Atlantic, including Basil Bunting, Lorine Niedecker, Charles Olson, and Lynette Roberts, who have been unjustly marginalised or ignored by canon-making critical surveys. Understanding late modernism as the persistence or living on of modernist writing into the three decades after the end of the Second World War (1945-1975), the module has close reading of key texts – such as Bunting’s Briggflatts and Niedecker’s ‘Paean to Place’ – at its heart. Tracing the affinities that late modernist poems have with high modernist texts such as T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Ezra Pound’s The Cantos, it will also encourage students to discover what is distinctive about modernist poetics in the second half of the twentieth century. To that end, individual sessions will consider the political orientations of late modernist poems, their profound interests in place and geography, as well as their innovative experiments with language and form.


Session 1 Introduction
Session 2 Reading late modernism [Williams, Paterson Book I]
Session 3 Roberts, Gods with Stainless Ears [Parts 1 & 2]
Session 4 Roberts, Gods with Stainless Ears [Parts 3, 4, & 5]
Session 5 Bunting, Briggflatts [Parts 1 & 2]
Session 6 Bunting, Briggflatts [Part 3, 4, & 5]
Session 7 Niedecker, ‘Paean to Place’
Session 8 Niedecker, ‘Lake Superior’
Session 9 Olson, from The Maximus Poems [Selections from Volume I]
Session 10 Olson, from The Maximus Poems [Selections from Volumes 2 & 3]

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Creative Problem Solving Problem solving skills developed through seminar exercises and demonstrated in the completion of a substantial essay assignment.
Critical and analytical thinking Advanced skills of reading and analysis developed through seminar preparation, seminar exercises, and research for module assignment.
Professional communication Oral communications skills through seminar discussions; written communication skills through an extended essay assignment.
Subject Specific Skills Writing skills, critical reading and reflection, and conceptual knowledge in key fields of literary study.


This module is at CQFW Level 7