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On the Intentional Fallacy March 19, 2008: Many of the comments in response to my most recent post revolved around the question of authorial intention and its importance or even relevance to the reading and interpretation of a work of verbal art, so I have decided to explore the question in greater depth. This post incorporates some of my prior responses to comments on that earlier post [...] by

Art, History, Politics: A Short Note March 14, 2008: Ironically enough, given the topic of my last post, I have been sidelined from this blog for a while because I've been painfully sick wth what my oncologist thinks (but doesn't know) are new chemotherapy side effects. But I am better now, and I am back. Happy reading. Politics, history, biography all inform and sometimes even deform art (style can [...] by

Illness and Poetry March 8, 2008: My friend the poet and critic Christopher Hennessy, who maintains a fascinating blog on the multiple relationships between identity (particularly gay identity) and creativity at Outside the Lines, recently asked me, after I described to him one of my chemotherapy side effects, that even picking up a piece of cold fruit burns my hands, whether I [...] by

White Dopes on Punk: An Analogy* March 4, 2008: The dichotomy people in the literary world frequently make between mainstream and experimental poetry, conservative and “progressive”? poetry, is very similar in form and tone (the attribution of sin to one and virtue to the other) to the dichotomy people (some of them the same people) make in the field of popular music between disco and punk. [...] by

This Is Just to Say March 1, 2008: I have posted a revised and much longer version of my Harriet post on "post-avant-garde" poetry, now titled "Defining Post-Avant-Garde Poetry," on my own blog, to be found here. In this extended version of the piece I discuss various writers' conceptions of the phenomenon I address, including Paul Hoover's new modernism, Stephen Burt's [...] by

All Night, He Was a New American, Part Three February 28, 2008: That many of the New American Poets were gay (Ashbery, Robin Blaser, James Broughton, Duncan, Edward Field, Ginsberg, O’Hara, Peter Orlovsky, James Schuyler, Spicer, Wieners, Jonathan Williams) is not incidental to their quest to find new ways of saying and, by implication (stronger in some than in others) new ways of moving through the world. [...] by

All Night, He Was a New American, Part Two February 25, 2008: This is the second of three posts devoted to the seminal Donald M. Allen anthology The New American Poetry. This post deals with the question of the "New American Poets"'s political commitments, or lack of same. Some of the poets gathered by Allen did indeed seek to transform society. Some sought to transform consciousness. Some sought to [...] by

All Night, He Was a New American, Part One February 22, 2008: It's taken me a while to post this piece, as I've been beset by chemotherapy side effects of my colon cancer treatment, especially a debilitating bout of chemo fatigue, and a nasty cold on top of this, which just seems unfair. But when has my life ever been fair? Much of what poet and critic Joshua Corey understatedly calls the “remarkable storm [...] by

My new New Year’s Resolutions February 17, 2008: I have almost never made a new year's resolution, but online events of the past month (I think we all know what I'm referring to) have prompted me, belatedly, to make some for this year, plus a couple more just for good measure. Instead of nine muses, I have nine resolutions. This post is partly humorous, but fundamentally, I'm quite serious. 1) [...] by

My New Anthology February 14, 2008: My new new book (after my recent essay collection, Orpheus in the Bronx), Lyric Postmodernisms: An Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries, is just out from the new and small but quite excellent Counterpath Press, who have published books by Laynie Browne, Brian Henry, and Andrew Joron, among others. Marjorie Perloff writes of the book that [...] by