The SMU Symposium on Poetic Form

SMU English Logo
Logo for Liège Université Philosophie et Lettres
Tel Aviv University Logo

March 18-19, 2024


The SMU Symposium on Poetic Form will gather scholars and poets on the SMU campus for two full days to discuss poetic form in practice and theory. Panels will consider topics such as Renaissance, eighteenth-century, and nineteenth-century poetics, hip hop, the sonnet, “uncreative writing,” and prosody. The Historical Poetics Reading Group will conduct a discussion of Francis Barton Gummere’s The Beginnings of Poetry. Jericho Brown, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, will give a reading and join Virginia Jackson in a conversation about poetry.

Keynote Poet: Jericho Brown

Keynote Scholar: Jonathan Culler, “Formal Constraints and the Vernacular: From Frost’s ‘Loose Iambics’ to Ammon’s ‘Diversifications'”

Plenary Panel: Stephanie Burt, Jahan Ramazani, and Evie Shockley

Plenary Panel: Virginia Jackson, Maureen McLane, and Anthony Reed

In creative conversation: Jericho Brown and Virginia Jackson

Contact Us

Contact Us


This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


David Caplan smiles and stands in front of a bookshelf.


Conference Organizer

David Caplan is the Daisy Deane Frensley Chair in English Literature and the author of seven books of literary criticism and poetry, including Rhyme’s Challenge: Hip Hop, Poetry, and Contemporary Rhyming, Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form, and American Poetry: A Very Short Introduction (all from Oxford University Press). Twice he has served as a Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature. His other honors include an Individual Excellence Award in Criticism from the Ohio Arts Council and the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Rosanne Brooks smiles and looks at the camera


Conference Coordinator

Rosanne Brooks is a Ph.D. student at Southern Methodist University. Her primary interests are in gender nonconforming characters of the late Victorian period, focusing on British and European works. One area she is currently pursuing is how representations of gender attitudes in art reconcile with historical evidence of gender expression. She is the winner of SMU’s 2023 Pueppke Writing Prize for outstanding graduate student essay.