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Monster

Distortion, Abstraction, and Originality in Contemporary American Poetry

by Mark Irwin (Author)
Monographs XX, 210 Pages
Series: Studies in Modern Poetry , Volume 21

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Book Chapters
  • Conferences
  • Permissions/Print
  • Permissions/Images
  • Preface
  • Part One: Distortion in the Contemporary Lyric and Prose Poem
  • Distortion & Disjunction in Contemporary American Poetry
  • Works Cited
  • Part Two: Distortion within Poetry, Nature, Culture, and Media
  • Poetry, Reality, & Place in a Placeless World of Global Communication
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3 (The Emergency of Poetry)
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • The Shock of the New
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • Works Cited
  • Toward a Wilderness of the Artificial
  • Works Cited
  • Part Three: Concept, Hyperbole, and Truth as Forms of Abstraction in Poetry
  • The Poem as Concept
  • 1
  • 2
  • Works Cited
  • Three Notions of Truth in Poetry
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Works Cited
  • Part Four: Distortion, Transition, and Memorability in Poetry
  • Raising Poetry to a Higher Power
  • Works Cited
  • Poetry & Memorability
  • Works Cited
  • Part Five: Temporal Distortion and Originality in Poetry
  • Poetry & Originality: “Have you been there before?”
  • 1 The Imagination as Undefined Truth
  • 2 Philosophies of Mystery and Wonder
  • 3 New World Cartographers
  • 4 Make It New
  • 5 Silence the Existing Rhetoric
  • Works Cited
  • Origin, Presence, & Time in the Poetry of W. S. Merwin
  • Works Cited
  • Jorie Graham: Kite’s Body & Beyond
  • 1
  • 2
  • Works Cited
  • A Romp through Ruefleland: Mary Ruefle’s Selected Poems & Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures
  • Works Cited
  • Part Six: Myth and Archetype as Forms of Abstraction
  • Orpheus, Parzival, & Bartleby: Ways of Abstraction in Poetry
  • I
  • II
  • III
  • Works Cited
  • Bibliography
  • Author Index
  • About the Author
  • Series index

| vii →

Cover: Cassill, Carroll H.: Swimmer to Orange, 1986.

Figure 1: De Kooning, Willem: Woman V, 1952–53.

Figure 2: Fischl, Eric: Best Western, 1983.

Figure 3: Francesca, Piero della: Madonna del Parto, 1467.

Figure 4: Mapplethorpe, Robert: Apollo, 1988.

Figure 5: Pollock, Jackson: Autumn Rhythm # 30, 1950.

Figure 6: Kiefer, Anselm: Lot’s Wife, 1989.

| ix →

Thanks to the editors of the following magazines where the essays originally appeared:

The American Poetry Review  
“A Romp Through Ruefleland: Mary Ruefle’s Selected Poems & Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures May/June 2013
“Distortion and Disjunction in Contemporary American Poetry” Nov/Dec 2011
“Raising Poetry to a Higher Power” Nov/Dec 2008
“Three Notions of Truth in Poetry” July/Aug 2008
Denver Quarterly  
“Kite’s Body: The Poetry of Jorie Graham” (an earlier form of this expanded essay) Fall 1996
Literary Imagination (Oxford University Press)  
“Orpheus, Parzival, & Bartleby: Ways of Abstraction in Poetry” Fall 2013 ← ix | x →
The Ohio Review  
“Toward a Wilderness of the Artificial” Winter 1993
Parthenon West  
“The Poem as Concept” Winter 2008
The Writer’s Chronicle/AWP  
“Poetry & Memorability” January/February 2011
“Poetry & Originality: ‘Have you been there before?’” October/November 2015
Witness
“‘The ply of spirits on bodies’: Diaspora and Metamorphosis in Donald Revell’s ‘Short Fantasia’”
Summer 2017
Zone 3 Journal
“The Emergency of Poetry”
Spring 2017

Book Chapters

“Origin, Presence, and Time in the Work of W. S. Merwin.” Until Everything Is Continuous Again: American Poets on the Work of W. S. Merwin, edited by Kevin Prufer & Jonathan Weinert. Chicago: Wordfarm Press, 2012.

Portions of the comment on the poetry of Angie Estes from Chapter II appeared in The Allure of Grammar: The Glamour of Angie Estes’ Poetry, University of Michigan Press, 2017.

Portions of “Poetry, Reality, & Place in a Placeless World of Global Communication” are excerpted from the essay “The Emergency of Poetry” © Mark Irwin 2016.

Conferences

Portions of “Poetry, Reality, & Place in a Placeless World of Global Communication” was presented in Seattle at the 2014 AWP Conference during a panel that I chaired with the same title.

Portions of “Distortion and Disjunction in Contemporary American Poetry” was presented at the 2012 Ashland University Summer Writers Conference. ← x | xi →

Portions of “Poetry & Memorability” was presented in Denver at the 2010 AWP Conference during a panel with the same title.

Portions of “Origin, Presence, and Time in the Work of W. S. Merwin” was presented in Chicago at the 2012 AWP Conference.

Portions of “Orpheus, Parzival, & Bartleby: Ways of Abstraction in Poetry” was presented at the 2009 ALSCW Conference in Denver.

I would also like to thank the USC Dornsife School of Humanities for a 2011 Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities Award, which was of great help in completing this project.

Thanks to Peter Mancall of USC Dornsife School of Humanities for additional funding, and to the USC Dornsife School of English, especially the chair, David St. John, and the administrative director, Nellie Reyes.

I am also deeply grateful to Lisa Utrata for attaining visual permissions, to Steven Minas for cataloguing and copy editing, and to John Garrett for the photo of Carroll Cassill’s Swimmer to Orange.

Permissions/Print

John Ashbery: “The Plural of ‘Jack-in-the-Box’” from AS WE KNOW by John Ashbery. Copyright © 1979 by John Ashbery. Reprinted by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc., on behalf of the author.

Mary Jo Bang: “The Cruel Wheel Turns Twice” from Elegy by Mary Jo Bang. Copyright © 2007 by Mary Jo Bang. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press and The Clegg Agency.

Anne Carson: “On Shelter” and “Town of Finding Out About the Love of God” from PLAINWATER: Essays and Poetry by Anne Carson, copyright © 1995 by Anne Carson. Used by permissions of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, A division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. ← xi | xii →

Thomas Sayers Ellis: long excerpt from “Or,” from Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems. Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Sayers Ellis. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, MN, www.graywolfpress.org.

Forrest Gander: “Time and the Hour” from SCIENCE AND STEEPLEFLOWER, copyright ©1997 by Forrest Gander. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Peter Gizzi: “In Defense of Nothing” from In Defense of Nothing © 2014 by Peter Gizzi. Reprinted with permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Paul Hoover: three paragraphs from “Poetry’s Place Is the Mind” is reprinted with permission by Paul Hoover.

Laura Kasischke: “Hospital Parking Lot” and “O Elegant Giant” from Space, in Chains. Copyright © 2011. Reprinted with The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

W.S. Merwin: “Passage” first published in THE COMPASS FLOWER, collected in MIGRATION. Copyright © 2005 by W. S. Merwin, used by permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.

“On the Subject of Poetry” first published in THE DANCING BEARS, collected in MIGRATION. Copyright © 2005 by W. S. Merwin, used by permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.

“Just This” from THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS by W. S. Merwin. Copyright © 2009 by W. S. Merwin, used by permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.

“Just This” first published in THE DANCING BEARS, collected in SELECTED POEMS. Copyright © 2007 by Bloodaxe Books, UK Print Rights. Used by permission of Bloodaxe Books. ← xii | xiii →

“The Animals” first published in THE LICE, collected in MIGRATION. Copyright © 2005 by W. S. Merwin, used by permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.

“The Animals” first published in THE LICE, collected in SELECTED POEMS. Copyright © 2007 by Bloodaxe Books, UK Print Rights. Used by permission of Bloodaxe Books.

W.S. Merwin: “On the Subject of Poetry,” “The Animals,” and “Passage” from MIGRATION: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org. (US Rights)

W.S. Merwin: “Just This” from The Shadow of Sirius. Copyright © 2009 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org. (US Rights)

Srikanth Reddy: “Corruption” first published in Facts for Visitors, by Srikanth Reddy. Copyright © 2005 by the Regents/University of California Press. Published by University of California Press and reprinted with permission.

Donald Revell: “Short Fantasy” first published in My Mojave, 2003, and collected in PENNYWEIGHT WINDOWS, 2005. Copyright © Alice James Books and reprinted with their permission.

Mary Ruefle: “The Bunny Gives Us a Lesson in Eternity” from Trances of the Blast. Copyright © 2013 by Mary Ruefle. Reprinted with permission of the author and Wave Books.

“The Butcher’s Story” from Cold Pluto. Copyright © 1996 by Mary Ruefle. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Carnegie Mellon University Press.

Details

Pages
XX, 210
ISBN (PDF)
9781453918746
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433140112
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433140129
ISBN (Book)
9781433134050
Language
English
Publication date
2017 (June)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2017. XX, 210 pp., 4 b/w ill., 2 coloured ill.

Biographical notes

Mark Irwin (Author)

Mark Irwin received his PhD in English/comparative literature from Case Western Reserve University and his MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of nine collections of poetry, including American Urn: New & Selected Poems (1987–2014). He has also translated two volumes of poetry. Recognition for his work includes The Nation/Discovery Award, two Colorado Book Awards, four Pushcart Prizes, the James Wright Poetry Award, and fellowships from the Fulbright, Lilly, NEA, and Wurlitzer Foundations. He is Associate Professor in the PhD in Creative Writing & Literature Program at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles and Colorado.

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