OverviewThis module introduces the challenges and pleasures of postmodern poetry and poetics. We will consider a range of poetic texts, and essays on poetry, that between them raise profound questions of nation, agency, language, politics and gender in the post-war period. Starting with Charles Olsons groundbreaking inquiries into open field poetics, we will investigate a range of American and British poets for whom the poem has been a way of generating new modes of thought and life. In particular we will explore the ways in which poetry of the period enables us to think through the implications of globalization. We will consider how poetry can escape the constraints of place, and how it can imagine new forms of collective identity.
Among the poets we will consider are: Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Frank OHara, Denise Riley, Lyn Hejinian, J. H. Prynne, and Tony Lopez. The work of these writers will be read alongside contemporary philosophy and political theory, and will be considered in relation to other art forms, especially painting. Students on the module will benefit from the activities of the Centre for Modern Poetry, including regular readings, research seminars and the reading groups.
This module appears in:
One two hour seminar per week
Method of assessment
In preparation for the course, please make sure you have read T. S. Eliots The Waste Land, some of Ezra Pounds Cantos and plenty of William Carlos Williams if you havent already. Course reading will include:
Donald Allen (ed.), The New American Poetry
Andrew Crozier and Tim Longville (eds.), A Various Art
Lyn Hejinian, My Life