How to Read Poetry Like a Professor with Thomas C. Foster

Join retired U of M-Flint professor Thomas C. Foster, the bestselling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, for a presentation of his newest title, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse. The book is an essential primer to reading poetry like a professor that unlocks the keys to enjoying works from Lord Byron to the Beatles.

About the Author

Thomas C. Foster is a professor of English at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he teaches contemporary fiction, drama, and poetry as well as creative writing and composition. He is the author of Twenty-five Books That Shaped America and several books on twentieth-century British and Irish fiction and poetry. He lives in East Lansing, Michigan.

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Westgate Shopping Center
2513 Jackson Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062113788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - March 27th, 2018

Praise for How to Read Poetry Like a Professor

“[An] accessible guide… [Foster’s] discussion of symbolism is particularly effective and may help readers learn to actually enjoy the experience of interpreting a poem… Students struggling to understand poetry, or even English instructors struggling to teach it, could benefit immensely from Foster’s guidance.”

─Publishers Weekly

About How to Read Poetry Like a Professor

No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes. But the form has also instilled trepidation in its many admirers mainly because of a lack of familiarity and knowledge.

Poetry demands more from readers—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—than other literary forms. Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children's books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no recent experience to make it feel familiar. But reading poetry doesn’t need to be so overwhelming. In an entertaining and engaging voice, Thomas C. Foster shows readers how to overcome their fear of poetry and learn to enjoy it once more.

From classic poets such as Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to later poets such as E.E. Cummings, Billy Collins, and Seamus Heaney, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor examines a wide array of poems and teaches readers:

How to read a poem to understand its primary meaning.

The different technical elements of poetry such as meter, diction, rhyme, line structures, length, order, regularity, and how to learn to see these elements as allies rather than adversaries.

How to listen for a poem’s secondary meaning by paying attention to the echoes that the language of poetry summons up.

How to hear the music in poems—and the poetry in songs!

With How to Read Poetry Like a Professor, readers can rediscover poetry and reap its many rewards.


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How to Read Poetry Like a Professor with Thomas C. Foster

How to Read Poetry Like a Professor with Thomas C. Foster

Join retired U of M-Flint professor Thomas C. Foster, the bestselling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, for a presentation of his newest title, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse. The book is an essential primer to reading poetry like a professor that unlocks the keys to enjoying works from Lord Byron to the Beatles.

About the Author

Thomas C. Foster is a professor of English at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he teaches contemporary fiction, drama, and poetry as well as creative writing and composition. He is the author of Twenty-five Books That Shaped America and several books on twentieth-century British and Irish fiction and poetry. He lives in East Lansing, Michigan.

How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062113788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - March 27th, 2018

Praise for How to Read Poetry Like a Professor

“[An] accessible guide… [Foster’s] discussion of symbolism is particularly effective and may help readers learn to actually enjoy the experience of interpreting a poem… Students struggling to understand poetry, or even English instructors struggling to teach it, could benefit immensely from Foster’s guidance.”

─Publishers Weekly

About How to Read Poetry Like a Professor

No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes. But the form has also instilled trepidation in its many admirers mainly because of a lack of familiarity and knowledge.

Poetry demands more from readers—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—than other literary forms. Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children's books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no recent experience to make it feel familiar. But reading poetry doesn’t need to be so overwhelming. In an entertaining and engaging voice, Thomas C. Foster shows readers how to overcome their fear of poetry and learn to enjoy it once more.

From classic poets such as Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to later poets such as E.E. Cummings, Billy Collins, and Seamus Heaney, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor examines a wide array of poems and teaches readers:

How to read a poem to understand its primary meaning.

The different technical elements of poetry such as meter, diction, rhyme, line structures, length, order, regularity, and how to learn to see these elements as allies rather than adversaries.

How to listen for a poem’s secondary meaning by paying attention to the echoes that the language of poetry summons up.

How to hear the music in poems—and the poetry in songs!

With How to Read Poetry Like a Professor, readers can rediscover poetry and reap its many rewards.


Apr 24 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address:
Westgate Shopping Center
2513 Jackson Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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