Hello Students!


Hello students of poetry! This is our OpenLab website for English 2003, section 1236.

This site will grow and develop during the semester, just like you will grow and develop as poetry readers.

If you have any questions, please let me know via email:


The course policy and syllabus are located in the Policy menu bar. Take some time to look around our course site; we will refer to it often.

Below are some interesting and informative posts from my personal vault of curious information.

Best wishes,

Prof. Scanlan

ps. Our first book, 101 Great American Poems, is on the shelves in the City Tech bookstore!



Question: Why is poetry appropriate during the swearing-in ceremony for a country’s President?

Maya Angelou reading at President Clinton’s inauguration:


Alexander reading at President Obama’s inauguration:





HIP HOP as Poetry and Cultural Expression

Students often ask me: is hip hop poetry or music or something in-between? And,where can I go to learn more about this art form and its history? The answer: books. The reason I like books is because they contain deep history, sustained argument, and they often provide footnotes and indexes–so that you can find other sources. Here are a few of my favorite books on popular and hip hop music:

Adam Bradley: Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop (2009)

Jeff Chang and DJ Herc: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (2005)

Jeff Chang: Total Chaos

Tricia Rose: Hip Hop Wars (2008)

Alan Light: Vibe History of Hip Hop

Nelson George: Hip Hop America

Mark Anthony Neal: That’s the Joint: Hip Hop Studies Reader

Gwendolyn Pough: Home Girls Make Some Noise

Eric Michael Dyson: Know What I Mean?

**There are many other books on music, and I do not mean to imply that other types and genres of music are not as important as hip hop.

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