edited by Mark Wallace and Steven Marks
contributions by Ren Friedlander, Christopher Finkhovser, C. S. Giscombe, Caroline Bergvall, Andrew Levy, Tan A. Lin, Bill Luoma, Sianne Ngai, Jena Osman, Kristin Prevallet, Harryette Mullen, Lisa Robertson, Leonard Schwartz, Rod Smith, Brian Kim Stefans, Gary Sullivan, Elizabeth Willis, Jefferson Hansen, Juliana Spahr, Charles Borkhuis, Daniel Barbiero, Sherry Brennan, Jeff Derksen and Steven Evans
University of Alabama Press, 2001
Paper: 978-0-8173-1097-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-1096-7
Library of Congress Classification PS325.T45 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.5409


The finest essays from the newest generation of critics and poet-critics are gathered together in this volume documenting the growth in readership and awareness of avant-garde poetries.

This collection demonstrates the breadth and openness of the field of avant-garde poetry by introducing a wide range of work in poetics, theory, and criticism from emerging writers. Examining the directions innovative poetry has taken since the emergence and success of the Language movement, the essays discuss new forms and the reorientation of older forms of poetry in order to embody present and ongoing involvements. The essays center around four themes: the relation between poetics and contemporary cultural issues; new directions for avant-garde practices; in-depth explorations of current poets and their predecessors; and innovative approaches to the essay form or individual poetics.

Diverging from the traditional, linear argumentative style of academic criticism, many of the essays in this collection instead find critical forms more subtly related to poetry. Viewed as a whole, the essays return to a number of shared issues, namely poetic form and the production of present-day poetry. While focusing on North American poetry, the collection does reference the larger world of contemporary poetics, including potential biases and omissions based on race and ethnicity.

This is cutting-edge criticism at its finest, essential reading for students and scholars of avant-garde poetry, of interest to anyone interested in contemporary American literature and poetry.