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Industrial Poetics: Demo Tracks for a Mobile Culture
by Joe Amato
University of Iowa Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-1-58729-501-0 | eISBN: 978-1-58729-704-5
Library of Congress Classification PN1031.A456 2006

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Through a dizzying array of references to subjects ranging from engineering to poetry, on-the-job experiences in academia and industry, conflicts between working-class and intellectual labor, the privatization of universities, and the contradictions of the modern environment, Joe Amato’s Industrial Poetics mounts a boisterous call for poetry communities to be less invested in artistic self-absorption and more concerned about social responsibility.s Amato focuses on the challenges faced by American poets in creating a poetry that speaks to a public engineered into complacency by those industrial technologies, practices, and patterns of thought that we cannot seem to do without, he brings readers face to face with the conflicting realities of U.S. intellectual, academic, and poetic culture.Formally adventurous and rhetorically lively, Industrial Poetics is best compared with the intellectually exploratory, speculative, risky, polemical work of other contemporary poet-critics including Kathleen Fraser, Joan Retallack, Bruce Andrews, Susan Howe, and Allen Grossman. Amato uses an exhilarating range of structural and rhetorical strategies: conventionally developed argument, abruptly juxtaposed aphorisms, personal narrative, manifesto-like polemic, and documentary reportage. With a critic’s sharply analytical mind, a poet’s verve, and a working-class intellectual’s sense of social justice, Amato addresses the many nonliterary institutions and environments in which poetry is inextricably embedded. By connecting poetry to industry in a lively demonstration against the platitudes and habitudes of the twentieth century, Amato argues for a reenergized and socially forceful poetics---an industrial poetics, rough edges and all. Jed Rasula writes, “I can’t say I pay much attention to talk radio, but this is what I imagine it might be like if the deejay were really smart, enviably well read, yet somehow retained the snarling moxie of the am format.”

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