May 2nd, 2015
Whee! Ten Thousand.

UD‘s poetry MOOC has now enrolled 10,000 students.

April 30th, 2015
Apparently UD’s Poetry MOOC…

… gets a positive mention in this current PMLA piece.

March 4th, 2015
UD comments about her MOOC in a new book…

… called Teaching Online: A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice.

It’s by Claire Howell Major, and published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

February 10th, 2015
Okay okay okay okay

There’s a bunch of stuff I’ve been wanting to post, but let UD for one millisecond in the long life of this blog say a variant of that obnoxious thing that you hear lots of people (at least lots of people in Washington DC) say: I’ve been so busy (read: so cool and in demand) that it’s been hard for me to keep up with the blog. This is a truly certifiably obnoxious sort of thing to say, and UD has heard obnoxious people say something like it all her life and UD never says it because it’s obnoxious but let her FOR ONE MILLISECOND in the long life of this blog say it. She is truly – to quote whoremistress Bella Cohen – all of a mucksweat.


Let UD say – much less obnoxiously – I hope – that one thing she always wished for — that she have a life with many different sorts of experiences and challenges — has come true. She has not only taught (and written about) literature, here and abroad, to university students. She has led seminars for corporate managers, lectured at public libraries, addressed gatherings on athletics and architecture and interior design, gathered a global online classroom of close to ten thousand students, and been on the receiving end of more media attention that she ever thought possible. Her blog has thousands of dedicated readers, many of whom have written to her (to link her to important articles; to ask her to promote their books and their causes), and some of whom have become friends.


If she’s now somewhat over-committed, that’s a good thing, it’s a thing she’s worked for, it’s fine.

She will now post all that stuff. Ne quittez pas.

January 18th, 2015
My MOOC just passed…

9,000 students.

January 1st, 2015
A Happy New Year’s Moment for UD: The Times Higher Education Features Your Blogger…

… in a piece this morning about online education.

November 5th, 2014
UD will offer a class on poetry, open to the public, at the Georgetown Branch…

… of the DC public library (3260 R Street NW) next March and April. It will meet on Sunday afternoons. Each week will be devoted to a close reading of a particular sort of poem. Here’s a rough outline:

week one: introductory remarks
week two: Romantic poem
week three: Victorian poem
week four: modernist poem
week five: postmodern poem
week six: comparisons, Romantic, Victorian, modernist, postmodern poems
week seven: concluding remarks

Details in a bit.

September 20th, 2014
The Georgetown Library has asked UD…

…to offer a poetry course next March through April, and she has happily accepted. Each session will be a close reading of an important poem. I’ll start with Romantic odes, then move on to Victorian, modern, and postmodern poetry. So there will be a dual focus: Changes in poetry from era to era, and intensive analysis of style and content.

As the date approaches, UD will announce details to any of her local readers that might be interested.

August 7th, 2014
UD is proud to announce that her poetry MOOC…

… has broken 7,000.

A reminder: An updated and expanded version of one of her MOOC lectures will form the basis of her remarks at the DC Public Library, Georgetown branch, on Charles Wright, who’s the current poet laureate. Date, time: Saturday, September 13, at 1:00. Open to the public.

And here’s a description of the upcoming talk:

America’s newest poet laureate, Charles Wright, has said this about his new job: “”I will not be an activist laureate… I’ll probably stay here at home and think about things.” Unlike most of his predecessors, Wright has no particular social or political agenda. His poetry is contemplative; he seems to write most of it while gazing, at night, toward the hills around Charlottesville, Virginia (he’s a professor at the University of Virginia). And what he writes – in long broad American lines, like Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg – expresses the strange metaphysical place in which a lot of contemporary people find themselves, drawn toward belief in God and the meaning and consolation such belief offers a life; yet profoundly skeptical, profoundly bound by earthly life.

I’ll offer, along with general thoughts about Charles Wright and his place in American poetry and culture, a close reading of one of his most famous poems, Black Zodiac, among whose lines I find this one most illuminating, suggestive, and beautiful:

We go to our graves with secondary affections,
Second-hand satisfaction, half-souled,
star charts demagnetized.

July 19th, 2014
UD will talk about America’s current poet laureate …

Charles Wright, at the DC Public Library, Georgetown branch, on Saturday September 13, at 1:00.

February 28th, 2014
The Jewish Week Quotes Your Blogueuse…

… in reporting that cash- … there must be a more urgent word than strapped — cash-sapped? – Yeshiva University will make about $20 million by selling ten apartment buildings near its Washington Heights campus.

Moody’s [has] cut YU’s credit rating to Baa2, the second lowest rung. Bloomberg News quoted Margaret Soltan, an associate professor of literature at George Washington University, who said, “What’s very heartbreaking about Yeshiva is that it attracts these very sincere, spiritual people yet it is revealing itself to be such a catastrophe. … It’s a catastrophe for the community that the leadership there has managed to screw it up.”

February 20th, 2014
UD’s post on Harvard’s endowment (see below) went viral…

… or whatever you call it when hundreds and hundreds of people link to something. I’m delighted. Reuters has also linked to the post.

February 17th, 2014
4,999 Students in UD’s Poetry MOOC…

… which, if I’m not mistaken, is one short of 5,000. The number continues to grow at a healthy pace, and UD is thrilled.

If you’ve found any of UD‘s posts on poetry – of poetry – of interest, you’ll find at the link a systematic presentation of her take on the form.

January 22nd, 2014
“What’s very heartbreaking about Yeshiva is that it attracts these very sincere, spiritual people yet it is revealing itself to be such a catastrophe,” said Margaret Soltan, an associate professor of literature at George Washington University in Washington who blogs about higher education. “It’s a catastrophe for the community that the leadership there has managed to screw it up.”

UD is quoted in today’s Bloomberg News on the Yeshiva University disaster.

January 16th, 2014
UD was just interviewed by Bloomberg News…

… on the financial crisis at Yeshiva University. If any of her pungent commentary makes it into the article, she’ll link you to it.

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