Evaluations of US Poetry since 1950, Volume 1
Language, Form, and Music
Published by: University of New Mexico Press
Over the last sixty years scholars and critics have focused on literary history and interpretation rather than literary value. When value is addressed, the standards are usually political and identitarian. The essays collected in both volumes of Evaluations of US Poetry since 1950 move away from esoteric literary criticism toward a more evaluative and speculative inquiry that will serve as the basis from which poets will be discussed and taught over the next half-century and beyond. Von Hallberg and Faggen have curated a diverse selection of authors to explore this topic. Volume 1 focuses on voice, language, form, and musicality. Stephen Yenser writes about Elizabeth Bishop, Stephanie Burt about C. D. Wright, Nigel Smith about Paul Simon, and Marjorie Perloff about Charles Bernstein, among others. The essays do not provide an exhaustive survey of recent poetry. Instead, Evaluations of US Poetry since 1950 presents readers with more than thirty different models of literary absorption and advocacy. This is done in explicit hope of reorienting the criticism of poetry.
"In Evaluations of US Poetry since 1950, the editors have assigned a group of eminent poetry scholars the old task of defending poetry: they must defend poems they value and the values the poems bear. The result, contrary to the intuition that has led generations of poetry scholars to avoid evaluating the poems they study, is anything but undemocratic. These essays make American poetry a place of celebration (because the poems are truly compelling) as well as contest (because they are so different)."--Aaron Kunin, author of Cold Genius
Robert Faggen and Robert von Hallberg
Chapter One. On Voice as a Category of Analysis; or, Lyric Address
Chapter Two. The Extravagance of Elizabeth Bishop
Chapter Three. James Merrill, Off the Gold Standard
Chapter Four. Why the Poetry of C. D. Wright Is Likely to Last a Long Time (with Attention to Why Poetry Lasts, More Generally)
Chapter Five. Miłosz's "Ars Poetica?"
Chapter Six. J. H. Prynne's Twist on Charles Olson
Chapter Seven. The Value of George Oppen's Small Words
Chapter Eight. On Harryette Mullen
Chapter Nine. #CageFreePoetry
Chapter Ten. "Funny Ha-Ha or Funny Peculiar?" Recalculating Charles Bernstein's Poetry
Chapter Eleven. The Recipe for Charles Wright
Chapter Twelve. The Warm Variety of Risk: Richard Wilbur and Edgar Bowers
Chapter Thirteen. Songs and Their Lyrics: Any Room at the Feast?
Chapter Fourteen. Jay Wright: A Few Words of Appreciation
Danielle S. Allen
Chapter Fifteen. Nathaniel Mackey and the Music
Robert von Hallberg