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Pleasures of Poetry 2024
Jan/08 Mon 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/09 Tue 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/10 Wed 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/11 Thu 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/12 Fri 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/16 Tue 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/19 Fri 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/22 Mon 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/23 Tue 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/24 Wed 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/26 Fri 01:00PM–02:00PM

Pleasures of Poetry meets this IAP 2024 in 14E-304 from 1-2 p.m. every weekday from January 8-26, with the exception of MLK Jr. Day (Jan. 15). This popular activity – which aims to reach all those with an interest in poetry, regardless of experience level – has been offered every IAP for several decades. This will be the 28th year of Pleasures of Poetry at MIT. Each one-hour session is devoted to a poet or two, often a single poem, chosen by session leaders who volunteer to facilitate conversation for that day. Collaborative close reading is the aim and ideal of each hour. Some participants attend every session, but many others may drop in only once or twice during the series to discuss a favorite poet or poem, or to discover new favorites. The roster of poets is typically diverse — from classic Chinese poets to American poets laureate, and from such canonical figures as Shakespeare, Keats, Dickinson, and Bishop to contemporary poets including Louise Glück, Joy Harjo, Terrence Hayes, and many more. 

Free and open to the public; as well as staff, alumni, and students.

Pleasures of Poetry 2024 Poetry Booklet PDF 

Schedule: January 8 – January 26
(with the exception of MLK Day January 15th)
Building 14, 14E-304 @ 1:00-2:00pm


Mon 8 Stephen Tapscott and Tom Özden-Schilling
"An American Sunrise” by Joy Harjo

Tues 9 Peter Shor
"Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth
“Immortality” by Matthew Arnold
"Reply to Mr. Wordsworth” by Archibald MacLeish

Wed 10 Mark Hessler
"Retreating Light”
"Parable" by Louise Glück

Thurs 11 Ben Mangrum
“sort by day, burn by night” Rita Wong

Fri 12 Avery Nguyen
”Triptych (#3)” by Diana Khoi Nguyen
“The Last Prom Queen in Antarctica” by Ocean Vuong

Mon 15 MLK Jr. Day (Institute Closed)

Tues 16 Anne Hudson

"Good Bones"
"Poem Beginning with a Line from Basho” by Maggie Smith

Wed 17 Moderator
"My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning

Thurs 18 Sandy Alexandre
”Abecedarian for Alzheimer's" by Joy Priest

Fri 19 Arthur Bahr
"Caelica - Sonnet 100” by Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke

Mon 22 Elizabeth Doran
"Et quoi penser du silence? (And What to Think of Silence?)"
"à toi (to you)" by Alejandra Pizarnik

Tues 23 Marah Gubar and Kieran Setiya
“Blocks World: The Lobster” by Emma Catherine Perry

Wed 24 Bronwen Heuer
"La loba (The She-Wolf)"
"Tú me quieres blanca (You Want Me White)"
"Cuadrados y ángulos (Squares and Angles)"
"Hombre pequeñito (Little Tiny Man)" by Alfonsina Storni

Thurs 25 Kevin McLellen
"States" by Kevin McLellan

Fri 26 Jessica Ruffin
“Spirit Matters” by Peter Rose

Stand-Up Comedy Crash Course
Jan/09 Tue 02:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/11 Thu 02:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/16 Tue 02:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 02:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/23 Tue 02:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 02:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/30 Tue 02:00PM–04:00PM

Application deadline: Submit your application by December 26 (see below)

Enrollment: Limited to 12 participants: Advance sign-up required

Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Prereq: MIT ID

What?  Why?  Do you want to make people laugh? Here’s your chance. In this crash course, you will go from the fundamentals of comedy writing and performance technique to constructing your own stand-up set. Material will be workshopped in a supportive, constructive environment led by stand-up comedian Dan Crohn, who has appeared on Last Comic Standing and the popular WTF podcast with Marc Maron. With years of experience teaching and performing stand-up, Dan will help you work towards a final graduation performance, MC-ed by him and scheduled for Thursday, February 8 with a dress rehearsal Thursday, February 1.

Applicants should send a 300-word essay to by December 26 explaining why they want to take this series. Participants must commit to regular attendance and to the final performance on Feb. 8. Prepare to amuse! Funded by the De Florez Fund For Humor.