Author Biography

Jennifer Keith is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


This essay discusses two approaches I use to teach Anne Finch's—and others'—poetry. Drawing on certain habits of early modern manuscript culture, I make visible to my students ways that reading and writing are socially embedded practices, which may variously involve exchange, reciprocity, or censorship. By adapting the "quaint" habits of manuscript culture practiced by Finch and many others to specific assignments, I encourage students to experience poetry as living, sociable occasions of reading and writing. To augment my students' engagement with early modern poetry I connect it to frameworks from their twenty-first-century reading and writing worlds. These exercises in "early modern social media" provide students with an intimate structure for studying a poem that resonates with many of their interests in creative writing and with their participation, mutatis mutandis, in one or more kinds of twenty-first-century social media.


birdsong, early modern literature, media theory, poetry, social media