MAPS header with Sylvia Plath

Dr. Bartholomew Brinkman, professor of English and director of the Modern American Poetry Site, collaborated with others to apply for a grant from the National Endowment of Humanities to launch a digital humanities center at Framingham State University and was awarded $192,000.

The Modern American Poetry site is an online repository offering poems by hundreds of different American poets to be utilized by those interested in modern and contemporary American poetry. Users have access not only to the poems but also to bibliographic information, photos, audio files, critical essays, teaching resources, and more. The site also acts as a medium that allows for its users to share ideas and criticism surrounding the poetry via its forums, making it more beneficial to users than a traditional anthology. As a free online resource, the website offers those outside of academia access to academic papers on poems that they would otherwise not have. The open forums available for each author’s works also provide users outside of academia the opportunity to take part in the discussion surrounding the poems.

The site was initially started in 1999 at the University of Illinois by Cary Nelson. However, in the spring of 2013, Brinkman began developing the updated site. The updates to the site have allowed for it to grow tremendously over the years so that it now includes more than 30,000 pages of bibliographies, critical essays, syllabi, and images for 161 poets. Brinkman and student interns continue to make contributions to the site and allow for others to submit both critical and pedagogical materials.

The goal of the program will be to provide students more employment and career opportunities by granting them the access to work with digital tools that they might not traditionally have in a standard classroom environment. The university also wishes for the digital humanities center to digitize and preserve archival material from the university’s special collections, offer student internships, and work with other businesses and cultural institutions within the area.

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