Spring 2021 - ENGL 112W D100

Literature Now (3)

Class Number: 3933

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 11 – Apr 16, 2021: Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2021
    Mon, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



Introduces students to contemporary works of literature in English and/or contemporary approaches to interpreting literature. May focus on one or multiple genres. Includes attention to writing skills. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


Twenty-One Poems for 2021

In this course we will read twenty-one poems that tell us something about the world in which we live in 2021—and something about how we got here too. Thus we will read poems about changing attitudes to the literary monuments of the past, poems about confinement and isolation (the quarantine blues have a long history), poems about the natural world, ecological crisis, and our changing relationship to this thing we have called “nature,” poems about immigration and refuge, poems about racism, racially motivated murder, and hope and resistance, poems about colonization and, once again, hope and resistance. Along the way we will consider the changing forms of poetry, and the relationships between poetry and song, as we veer a little into popular culture too. The times they are a changin’ once again, and poetry, as ever, is there to point the way.


  • Tutorial and occasional lecture participation 20%
  • Reading Journal part 1 (3 entries on 3 poems @ 250 words each) 20%
  • Reading Journal part 2 (3 entries on 3 poems @ 250 words each) 20%
  • Essay (expanding upon one reading journal entry—1200 words) 20%
  • Take Home Final Exam 20%


Your enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study will entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Lectures will for the most part be asynchronous: slides, audio, and occasionally video will be posted in Canvas each week by 2:30PM on the Wednesday, a day before the Thursday lecture time. Beginning with the first lecture, and then every other week from that point, we will have short synchronous lectures during the scheduled lecture time, for which I will divide you into small groups scheduled through the lecture time period. For this we will use Zoom. 

Tutorials will be synchronous at the scheduled time and will begin the second week of the semester.



You’ll need a computer or tablet, camera, and reliable internet access for this course. Headsets are helpful in blocking out distractions but certainly not necessary. 

Did you know that students have access to free Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud? This would be a good time to upgrade your software.


The majority of our readings (20 of the 21 poems) will be available as PDFs on the course Canvas page. These will include poems by: Derek Mahon, William Shakespeare, Inua Ellams, Emily Dickinson, Rita Wong, Sonnet L'Abbe, John Keats, R. F. Langley, William Butler Yeats, Phyllis Webb, Daniel Borzutzky, Ocean Vuong, Bob Dylan, Fred Moten, Patricia Smith, Jericho Brown, Layli Long Soldier, Juliana Spahr, Lin Manuel Miranda and Rafeef Ziadah.

Our 21st poem is a book, Jordan Abel's The Place of Scraps: the PDF of this book can be ordered directly from Talonbooks in Vancouver by contacting info@talonbooks.com. 

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).