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All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s / Edition 1

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Overview


This landmark book, together with its accompanying CD, captures the heady excitement of the vibrant, irreverent poetry scene of New York's Lower East Side in the 1960s. Drawing from personal interviews with many of the participants, from unpublished letters, and from rare sound recordings, Daniel Kane brings together for the first time the people, political events, and poetic roots that coalesced into a highly influential community. From the poetry-reading venues of the early sixties, such as those at the Les Deux M├ęgots and Le Metro coffeehouses to The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, a vital forum for poets to this day, Kane traces the history of this literary renaissance, showing how it was born from a culture of publicly performed poetry. The Lower East Side in the sixties proved foundational in American verse culture, a defining era for the artistic and political avant-garde.

The voices and works of John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, Charles Bernstein, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Kenneth Koch, Bernadette Mayer, Ron Padgett, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Frank O'Hara, and many others enliven these pages, and the thirty five-track CD includes recordings of several of the poets reading from their work in the sixties and seventies. The Lower East Side's cafes, coffeehouses, and salons brought together poets of various aesthetic sensibilities, including writers associated with the so-called New York School, Beats, Black Mountain, Deep Image, San Francisco Renaissance, Umbra, and others. Kane shows that the significance for literary history of this loosely defined community of poets and artists lies in part in its reclaiming an orally centered poetic tradition, adapted specifically to open up the possibilities for an aesthetically daring, playful poetics and a politics of joy and resistance.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kane's volume is the first to tackle the period in New York's downtown literary history most closely tied to the group of poets known as the "Second Generation New York School," including Bernadette Mayer, Ted Berrigan, Ann Waldman, Ron Padgett and Lewis Warsh. His concise and nuanced account covers not only the poetry of the period-a light-hearted collage-aesthetic that cemented societal bonds by including the names and activities of friends and lovers was the order of the day-but also the many personalities that populated the wilds of New York's Lower East Side, from the African-American Umbra Poets (including Hendrix biographer Dave Henderson and Lorenzo Thomas), the poet/songwriter Ed Sanders (co-founder of the Fugs and editor of Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts), Jungian "deep image" poets such as Robert Kelly and Clayton Eshlemen and proto-Language poets such as Bernadette Mayer and Clark Coolidge. Emerging out of the milieu where they read together at small cafes was not just the "mimeo revolution" (the rise of poetry journals that were run off in the basement of a "secret location on the Lower East Side") and not just cultural institutions that still have legs (and capacity for subversion) over 20 years later, such as the St. Mark's Poetry Project, but cultural spin-offs that have had global repercussions, most importantly punk rock and No Wave (via Patti Smith) and the Black Arts Movement. This volume, which includes a 35-track CD of readings by poets-including some who were just passing through, like the late Boston poet John Wieners- is a must-have for historians of American poetry in the 20th century. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520233850
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition, Includes 35-track CD of audio clips of poetry readings
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,227,109
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author


Daniel Kane is Lecturer in the School of English and American Studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He has had poems, interviews, and essays published in Exquisite Corpse, The Denver Quarterly, TriQuarterly, The Hat, and other publications.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

Introduction
1. Community through Poetry
2. Oral Poetics on the Lower East Side
3. The Aesthetics of the Little
4. The Poetry Project at St. Mark's
5. Anne Waldman, The World, and the Early Years at the Poetry Project
6. Bernadette Mayer and "Language" in the Poetry Project
Epilogue: Bob Holman, the Poetry Project, and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe: "I Learned That Poetry Could Be about Community Here"

Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments of Permissions
Index
CD Playlist: http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9278/9278.playlist.php

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