Diving For Pearls

Online writers' resources by Ingrid Bruck


Ingrid Bruck is an editor at Between These Shores.  She was a featured writer in BTSA Issue #2. Her column is devoted to online writer resources. She found her own writer support community online. Writing this column is one way of "paying it forward". 

Diving for Pearls: Online Writers Resources

BTS Books strives to be a writers resource. Toward that end, we invite writers to share their information, link, and news of interest for the literary community. 

Email your pearls of resources for writers to:

Ingrid Bruck, Network and Resource Editor



September 2021

 ModPo Begins Sept 4

ModPo: Modern American Poetry begins on September 4, 2021. If you find that reading fine poetry helps you grow as a writer, check out this class. 


ModPo helped me develop a personal writer support network and connected me to a global writer community. It’s the best free online class I have ever taken.


In 2012, I took ModPo for the first time. It was my first MOOC: massive online class. No cost: offered for free. Modern American Poetry: known as ModPo. This first experience in online learning provided me an entry point into a world-wide poetry community.  


Year one at ModPo—I was hooked. For nine years, I’ve attended ModPo. It never grows stale. Every year, the ModPo beginner curriculum gets updated and more content added to the advancer learner portion (ModPoPlus). There’s always more poets and poems to discuss, more to be learned about the craft of writing. I found a writer home in the Public Discussion Forums and Interest Groups that continue year-round.


Modern American Poetry has evolved over the nine years I’ve participated. Over 50,000 online learners. From a formal class of six weeks length, ModPo now offers a fast-paced fall session of ten weeks, then continues in SlowPoMode year-round. Professor Al Filreis, the instructor, leads featured poem discussions with a round table of teaching assistants (TA). An active team of over a hundred mentors supports them. Mentors participate in online discussions and interact, encourage and learn with the students. Al & the TAs hold office hours, they are accessible and talk directly to the students. The course includes livestream webcasts on the week’s featured poetry, with a call-in portion by students from around the world.  


What stays the same? ModPo’s formal class begins in September. When: Now.  Enroll: free.


Dear ModPo friends near & far:


ModPo 2021 opens on Saturday (September 4) for our annual "symposium mode" movement all together through the ten weeks of the course. Very possibly you are already currently registered/enrolled, and you can check that by going here. If you are not currently enrolled, you can of course easily join us by clicking "ENROLL" here.


Some receiving this note will have begun ModPo but weren't able to finish. We invite you back! Pick up where you left off!


Some folks will be familiar with all of the poems and videos in the main syllabus. If so, we invite you to come back for ModPo 2021 and move through the ModPoPLUS syllabus—which is structured so that each week you will see additional poems and videos associated with the topic or historical period of that week's main syllabus. We have been adding dozens and dozens of new poems and videos and other materials to ModPoPLUS so join us for that!


ModPo, as always, is free (no $ charge of any kind) and hosted by us at the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, PA, USA.


If you have any questions about how to re-join us in ModPo, please write us at modpo@writing.upenn.edu.

Best wishes, as always,


Al Filreis

Kelly Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Faculty Director, Kelly Writers House 
Dir., Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW
Co-Director, PennSound 
Publisher, Jacket2
Teacher/convener, ModPo 
My new book, 1960: info & pre-order

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