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Thursday, 13 September 2007

American Poets In The 21st Century: The New Poetics

According to the editors of this new book (Wesleyan, 2007), Claudia Rankine and Lisa Sewell, there are new poetries emerging from the "turf wars" between mainstream and avant-garde, of the 90s - between, say, the new formalism and the Language positions. I hope so.

This book just arrived on my doorstep the other day, and I look forward to seeing how its thirteen poets look at poetry and poetics. Now, I'm a well-read kinda guy, and what took me aback, pleasantly, was how few of these names were known to me - yet they are representative American figures, which began to get me worried. Not about them, about me. I must be slipping. A few names I knew - Karen Volkman, D.A. Powell, Kevin Young and Tracie Morris, especially. It looks very promising, indeed. I'd welcome such a British or Canadian book of post-division-era poets.

I'm working on a PhD that looks at the way second-generation modernism may be the way forward. More about all of this, hopefully, much later.
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