How much did "making it new" have to do with "making it"? For the four "outsider poets" considered in this book—Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Louis Zukofsky, and Ted Berrigan—the connection was everything. At once a social history of literary ambition in America in the fifties and sixties and a uniquely collective form of literary biography, Career Moves offers an intimate account of the postwar poetry underground.
Making the controversial claim that anti-Establishment poets were at least as "careerist" as their mainstream peers, Libbie Rifkin shows how the nature of these poets’ ambition actually defined postwar avant-garde identity. In doing so, she clarifies the complicated link between the crafting of a literary career and the defining of a literary canon.