“Ed Dorn’s achievement has been to create single-handedly a language of public reference, and to have brought within the sphere of expressive language and poetic experience objects and feelings which had been, literally, unimaginable in those terms. It is in this context that he is one of the masters of our contemporary language.”
“Ed was one of the most thoughtful but penetrating thinkers. There was no PollyAnna in him at all. And that’s what I liked about him.”
Along with Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, William Carlos Williams, and others, Edward Dorn taught at and became associated with the Black Mountain school in North Carolina. Although influenced by Charles Olson, Dorn’s poetry was really like no other’s. The Virginia Quarterly Review called him “an experienced and accomplished poet who has absorbed Olson, Williams, and Pound and moved beyond them.”
This book is especially important for the way it synthesizes Dorn’s views on poetic experimentation, the distinction between consciousness and sensibility, and “heretical” intellection, which is to say the components of his poetics of aggression.