Poetry & Language Writing

BookPoetry & Language Writing

Poetry & Language Writing

Objective and Surreal

Poetry &..., 2

2007

November 1st, 2007

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It has been variously labelled ‘Language Poetry’, ‘Language Writing’, ‘L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing’ (after the magazine that ran from 1978 to 1981), and ‘language-centred writing’. It has been placed according to its geographical positions, on East or West coasts; its venues in small magazines, independent presses and performance spaces, and its descent from historical precursors, be they the Objectivists, the composers-by-field of the Black Mountain School, the Russian Constructivists or American modernism à la William Carlos Williams and Gertrude Stein. Indeed, one of the few statements that can be made about it with little qualification is that ‘it’ has both fostered and endured a crisis in representation more or less since it first became visible in the 1970s. In Poetry & Language Writing David Arnold grasps the nettle of Language poetry, reassessing its relationship with surrealism and providing a scholarly, intelligent way of understanding the movement. Poets discussed include Charles Bernstein, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer and Barrett Watten.

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Author Information

David Arnold is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Worcester.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Contents7
Acknowledgements9
Permissions11
1: The Scholarly Life of Language Writing15
2: Surrealism: An Excommunicated Vessel?33
3: Under the Sign of Negation: William Carlos Williams and Surrealism45
4: The Surreal-O-bjectivist Nexus75
5: Michael Palmer’s Poetics of Witness100
6: Scorch and Scan: The Writing of Susan Howe126
7: ‘Just Rehashed Surrealism’? The Writing of Barrett Watten152
Notes180
Bibliography204
Index211