Poetic Community: Avant-Garde activism and Cold War Culture

By Stephen Voyce

© 2013

Poetic Community examines the relationship between poetry and community formation in the decades after the Second World War. In four detailed case studies (of Black Mountain College in North Carolina, the Caribbean Artists Movement in London, the Women’s Liberation Movement at sites throughout the US, and the Toronto Research Group in Canada) the book documents and compares a diverse group of social models, small press networks, and cultural coalitions informing literary practice during the Cold War era.

Drawing on a wealth of unpublished archival materials, Stephen Voyce offers new and insightful comparative analysis of poets such as John Cage, Charles Olson, Adrienne Rich, Kamau Brathwaite, and bpNichol. In contrast with prevailing critical tendencies that read mid-century poetry in terms of expressive modes of individualism, Poetic Community demonstrates that the most important literary innovations of the post-war period were the results of intensive collaboration and social action opposing the Cold War’s ideological enclosures.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Illustrations: 7
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003445

  • PUBLISHED MAY 2013

    From: $54.75

    Regular Price: $73.00

    ISBN 9781442645240
  • PUBLISHED JUN 2013

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    Regular Price: $73.00

Quick Overview

Poetic Community demonstrates that the most important literary innovations of the post-war period were the results of intensive collaboration and social action opposing the Cold War’s ideological enclosures.

Poetic Community: Avant-Garde activism and Cold War Culture

By Stephen Voyce

© 2013

Poetic Community examines the relationship between poetry and community formation in the decades after the Second World War. In four detailed case studies (of Black Mountain College in North Carolina, the Caribbean Artists Movement in London, the Women’s Liberation Movement at sites throughout the US, and the Toronto Research Group in Canada) the book documents and compares a diverse group of social models, small press networks, and cultural coalitions informing literary practice during the Cold War era.

Drawing on a wealth of unpublished archival materials, Stephen Voyce offers new and insightful comparative analysis of poets such as John Cage, Charles Olson, Adrienne Rich, Kamau Brathwaite, and bpNichol. In contrast with prevailing critical tendencies that read mid-century poetry in terms of expressive modes of individualism, Poetic Community demonstrates that the most important literary innovations of the post-war period were the results of intensive collaboration and social action opposing the Cold War’s ideological enclosures.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Illustrations: 7
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘Voyce has written an intelligent and provocative book… This important book ought to prompt a vigorous critical conversation. Highly recommended.’
    G. Grieve-Carlson
    Choice Magazine, vol 51:03:2013

    ‘Voyce offers a generous sampling of poems with a highly enjoyable interweaving of original theoretical discussion and analysis of poetry.’


    Irene Gammel
    The Journal of Canadian Studies, vol 50:01:2016
  • Author Information

    Stephen Voyce is an assistant professor in the Department of English and a member of the Digital Studio for Public Humanities at the University of Iowa.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgements

    List of Figures

    Abbreviations

    1. Introduction

    2. Black Mountain College: A Poetic of Local Relations

    • Assembly Point of Acts
    • We are the Process: Toward a Theory of Field
    • To Join the Arts in Action: John Cage at the College
    • Polis and Totality in The Maximus Poems
    • For Love Revisited: Robert Creeley and the Politics of Friendship
    • “Public Parks” and “Poetic Communes”: Denise Levertov and Robert Duncan’s Open Form Protest

    3. Caribbean Artists Movement: A Poetic of Cultural Activism

    • Link-up: The Poetic of a Social Movement
    • Underground Language
    • “Eating the Dead”: Kamau Brathwaite’s Arrivants in London
    • To Havana and Beyond: John La Rose, Andrew Salkey, and a Map for Third World Unity

    4. The Women’s Liberation Movement: A Poetic for a Common World

    • Devising our Networks
    • The Tyranny of Structurelessness
    • Usurping the Left’s Mimeograph Machine: Robin Morgan, WITCH, and Poetic Insurrection
    • The Location of the Commons: Adrienne Rich, Judy Grahn, and the Building of a Common World
    • Consciousness-Raising as Poetic Discourse

    5. Toronto Research Group: A Poetic of the Eternal Network

    • The Institute of Creative Misunderstanding
    • The Kids of the Book-Machine
    • A Realignment of Kinship: The Four Horsemen
    • The Eternal Network

    6. Epilogue: Community as an Eternal Idea

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index

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