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Associate Dean Michael P. Thomas Presents Paper at Bob Dylan Symposium

Michael P. Thomas, associate dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, had his paper “American Poetry and the Art of Confession: Dylan, Lowell & Bishop” accepted at the first “World of Bob Dylan Symposium” held May 30 to June 2, 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Over 500 scholars, performers, critics, fans and teachers from around the world gathered at the conference to explore the creative genius of Bob Dylan, one of the world’s most influential artists, through panel discussions, exhibitions, performances and informal sessions.

The symposium, organized by The University of Tulsa’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies, received far more proposals than they had space to accommodate and the selection committee believed Thomas’ work “stood out thanks to its depth and originality.”

Thomas was inspired to write on the confessional mode, a style of poetry generally written in the first person and focused on extremely personal and often taboo topics, after having taught the perspectives course Confessional Poetry for the past ten years, in addition to seeing Dylan live 33 times in past 25 years.

“I owe mountains of gratitude to my students here at Monmouth University, who have helped me explore the many variations and definitions of confessional poems,” said Thomas.

Thomas discussed his paper as part of a panel, “Making it New Again: Dylan & Modernism,” which also featured papers on poets Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot and modern aesthetics that connect Dylan to literature.

Leading music journalist and Dylan scholar Greil Marcus gave a keynote address at the symposium, while musician Roger McGuinn shared stories and played several songs with singer-songwriter and music journalist Jeff Slate. Ann Powers, music critic for NPR, and Michael Chaiken, curator of the Dylan Archives, presented keynote talks as well.

For more information on the symposium, visit