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Course Description

Longer poems tell dynamic stories, delivering history, biography, or fiction. We discuss three riveting works. Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard, Pulitzer Prize winner, confronts the South's racial complexities. Trethewey starts with her own biracial journey, then turns to the story of a free slave who becomes a Union soldier in Louisiana. In Gabriel: A Poem, National Book Award finalist, celebrated poet Edward Hirsch explores the turbulent life and death of his mentally ill son. A page-turner, this fast read follows Gabe's life from adoption to death, from crisis to crisis. Rebecca Gayle Howell's Sexton Prize-winner, American Purgatory, is dystopian fiction. It features a Gothic cast of characters living in a future South wasted by environmental squalor and poverty. Howell waves a warning flag in the age of agribusiness. With three weeks devoted to each book, we bring our considerable resources into energetic discussion, focusing on important topics.  Facilitated Discussion 
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