Poetry and Poetics

Program Type: Cluster

The Poetry and Poetics Graduate Cluster is an interdisciplinary group of scholars and writers who share an interest in the long and varied tradition named by “poetics” and in the particular structures of thought that poetry articulates across languages and over time. Our highly engaged membership includes students and faculty from across the language-focused humanities fields, as well as scholars working in ethnic, area, and performance studies.

The fields of poetry and poetics, as tandem disciplines in the literary arts and literary studies, are undergoing a sustained period of renewal that bridges the languages and traditions on which the national literature departments are modeled. Northwestern has seen a rapid, organic expansion of a poetics community, and we are currently rich in creative projects and scholarly questions centered on cross-national, multi-disciplinary, and transhistorical approaches to poetry.

Cluster faculty and students work together to generate theoretically innovative accounts of the poetries of the near and distant past, as well as of marginalized communities in the U.S. and abroad.

See Poetry and Poetics Cluster Requirements for specific courses and procedures needed to complete this program.

Programs and Events

We sponsor poetry readings, lectures, and a series of workshops featuring a distinguished group of contemporary poets and scholars from around the world; a poetry-in-the-schools initiative in collaboration with Youth and Opportunity United (Y.O.U.); joint events with the Poetry Foundation, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum, Giordano Dance Company, and other cultural institutions around Chicago; and a first book poetry chapbook prize for emerging poets of color, published by Northwestern University Press.

Many events, such as our speaker series and workshops, are open to all members of the community. Graduate-level cluster seminars are open to graduate students across the University. We encourage all students, faculty, and staff of Northwestern to learn more about our research and activities by participating in our public events.

Who Should Apply?

Doctoral candidates from any field are eligible to apply to join this intellectual “home” outside their department. Past participants have come from the following programs:

  • African-American Studies
  • Art History
  • Comparative Literary Studies
  • English
  • French and Italian
  • German Literature and Critical Thought
  • Music
  • Performance Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Spanish and Portuguese
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Theatre and Drama

How to Apply

Prospective PhD students interested in participating in this cluster should indicate their interest when they apply to their respective graduate programs.

Current graduate students interested in participating in this cluster should contact Professor Susannah Gottlieb at s-gottlieb@northwestern.edu.

Who to Contact

Please contact the program director, listed below, with questions about this program. Or, explore the Poetry and Poetics website for more information.

Susannah Gottlieb
Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies
Email: s-gottlieb@northwestern.edu