Language poets

“The Language poets (or L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, after the magazine of that name) are an avant-garde group or tendency in United States poetry that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The poets included: Leslie Scalapino, Stephen Rodefer, Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Ron Silliman, Barrett Watten, Lyn Hejinian, Tom Mandel, Bob Perelman, Rae Armantrout, Alan Davies, Carla Harryman, Clark Coolidge, Hannah Weiner, Susan Howe, and Tina Darragh. Language poetry emphasizes the reader’s role in bringing meaning out of a work. It plays down expression, seeing the poem as a construction in and of language itself. In more theoretical terms, it challenges the ‘natural‘ presence of a speaker behind the text; and emphasizes the disjunction and the materiality of the signifier. These poets favor prose poetry, especially in longer and non-narrative forms. In developing their poetics, members of the Language school took as their starting point the emphasis on method evident in the modernist tradition, particularly as represented by Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky. Language poetry is an example of poetic postmodernism. Its immediate postmodern precursors were the New American poets, a term including the New York School, the Objectivist poets, the Black Mountain School, the Beat poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Language poetry has been a controversial topic in American letters from the 1970s to the present. Even the name has been controversial: while a number of poets and critics have used the name of the journal to refer to the group, many others have chosen to use the term, when they used it at all, without the equals signs. The terms ‘language writing’ and ‘language-centered writing’ are also commonly used, and are perhaps the most generic terms. None of the poets associated with the tendency has used the equal signs when referring to the writing collectively. Its use in some critical articles can be taken as an indicator of the author’s outsider status. There is also debate about whether or not a writer can be called a language poet without being part of that specific coterie; is it a style or is it a group of people? Online writing samples of many language poets can be found on internet sites, including blogs and sites maintained by authors and through gateways such as the Electronic Poetry Center, PennSound, and UbuWeb. …”
L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E  P=O=E=T=R=Y
From a Secret Location
[PDF] A GENERAL ISSUE including a supplement: “The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poets” edited by Charles Bernstein, boundary 2
L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E (Ed.) Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein
amazon: The Language Book (Poetics of the New)

from left: Bruce Andrews, Michael Lally, Ray DiPalma

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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