Part I: The three poets chosen for this week are among the leading poets of contemporary American literature (there are many others, however). As you read their work from the Poetry Foundation’s website, read a little bit about their biographies as well. How do you see these poets fitting into the American literary tradition as we have experienced it so far?
Part II: One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. All three of these poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?
Part III. You probably know John Grisham better from his novels than from his journalistic essays. In what ways does his magazine essay, included in our text, seem “fictional” to you–not necessarily fictional in the sense of things being made up, but rather in terms of style or writing technique?