Poetic Community

Poetic Community: Avant-Garde activism and Cold War Culture

STEPHEN VOYCE
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 368
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt5hjxpq
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  • Book Info
    Poetic Community
    Book Description:

    Poetic Communitydemonstrates that the most important literary innovations of the post-war period were the results of intensive collaboration and social action opposing the Cold War's ideological enclosures.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6215-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-27)

    Poetic Communityinvestigates the relationship between poetry and community formation among several groups collaborating during the Cold War era. Although the phrase “literary movement” is more likely to conjure images of the numerous avant-garde groups in existence during the first decades of the twentieth century, consider a shortlist of poetic groups operating in the years after 1945: the Black Mountain poets, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the coterie of British poets known as the Movement, the Beats, the San Francisco Renaissance, the New York School, the Caribbean Artists Movement, the Concretists, Fluxus, the Black Arts Movement, the Toronto Research Group, Naropa,...

  7. 2 Black Mountain College: A Poetic of Local Relations
    (pp. 28-101)

    In contemporary discourse on American poetry, the term “Black Mountain” has come to denote a significant site of literary production undertaken during the first half of the 1950s. First and foremost, it is the name of a college that opened in the isolated environs of southwestern North Carolina in 1933. For literary scholars, in particular, the term marks the era of the college between 1951 and 1956,³ at which time Charles Olson acted as its rector, and a number of poets transformed the institution into a central site of poetic experimentation – in particular, the development of “open form” or projectivist...

  8. 3 The Caribbean Artists Movement: A Poetic of Cultural Activism
    (pp. 102-161)

    The objective of this chapter might be summarized as an inquiry into Brathwaite’s contention that his “poetry was saying the same thing that CAM was doing.” How did the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) operate as an organization that enabled the cultural production of Caribbean exiles living in London, England, and what specifically was the relationship between the group and a practice of writing? Readers of Brathwaite will no doubt observe some intriguing terminological consistencies between this passage and statements elsewhere in his poetics and cultural research. “Submergence” is a term he uses to define a notion of writing called “nation...

  9. 4 The Women’s Liberation Movement: A Poetic for a Common World
    (pp. 162-201)

    More than one activist in the Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) has observed the centrality of poetry in the feminist projects of the 1960s and 1970s. Historians Polly Joan and Andrea Chessman, having in 1978 assembled the most comprehensive guide to Women’s publishing in North America to date, proclaim: “poetry was the medium of the movement” (Guide to Women’s Publishing3). Yet despite the aesthetic and political commitments linking Robin Morgan, Adrienne Rich, Gloria Anzaldúa, Irena Klepfisz, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Pat Parker, Judy Grahn, Honor Moore, June Jordan, Susan Griffin, Anne Waldman, Diane di Prima, Audre Lorde, and many others, a...

  10. 5 The Toronto Research Group: A Poetic of the Eternal Network
    (pp. 202-253)

    The “Toronto Research Group” usually refers to a series of research reports and associated activities conducted by Steve McCaffery and bpNichol from 1972 to 1982, the dates of their first manifesto and the last of their investigations into creative translation, the material production of the book, and non-narrativity.⁴ Throughout this chapter, the name Toronto Research Group (TRG) will refer to these activities, though one should bear in mind that these investigations did not take place in isolation. TRG research is an important component of a constellation of integrated critical and creative collaborations by several experimental poets during the 1970s. These...

  11. Epilogue: Community as an Eternal Idea
    (pp. 254-260)

    Robert Duncan often called himself a derivative poet, a fact usually glossed over as mere cleverness. But perhaps he affords the most lucid critique of originality among poets writing during the second half of the twentieth century. Implicit in such an idea is a notion of aesthetic production forged relationally among a community of others who copy and extend, mutate and redirect the material of a collective practice. One may object that in defining a practice we regulate its aesthetic principles and police its transformation. Certainly this can and does happen. Yet the alternative is rarely preferable. To suggest that...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 261-298)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 299-328)
  14. Index
    (pp. 329-352)