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Distortion, Abstraction, and Originality in Contemporary American Poetry


Mark Irwin

Monster: Distortion, Abstraction, and Originality in Contemporary American Poetry argues that memorable and resonant poetry often distorts form, image, concept, and notions of truth and metaphor. Discussing how changes in electronic communication and artificial notions of landscape have impacted form and content in poetry, Monster redefines the idea of what is memorable and original through a broad range of poets including John Ashbery, Anne Carson, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Forrest Gander, Peter Gizzi, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Laura Kasischke, W. S. Merwin, Srikanth Reddy, Donald Revell, Mary Ruefle, Arthur Sze, and James Tate.

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

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.

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