Poetic Justice

How can you become a poet of social change?

If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live. —U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Poetic Justice asks you to explore the relationship between art and politics, uncover the history of protest poetry, and understand its status and evolution within today’s political climate. The course begins with an introduction to two basic concepts – poetry and politics. We will discuss the differences between poetry and the other literary arts as we attempt to identify the unique qualities that make verse such a powerful medium for political expression. Along the way, we will read, hear, watch, and analyze political poetry from the past and present moments as we prepare to write and perform our very own protest poems. How will you use poetry to fight the power?

Students of Poetic Justice will pursue these Guiding Questions:

  • What makes poetry radical?
  • Where does poetry fight for freedom?
  • How will you protest with poetry?