“Cannot Understand / Feels Deeply”: John Ashbery, The Tennis Court Oath, and Queer Affect
Brian Reed
​ John Ashbery’s poetry has often been read for its coded or obscured references to his sexuality. This essay argues that a book such as The Tennis Court Oath (1962) is better read, not for its encrypted autobiographical content, but for its giddy strange tone, its “queer affect.” Poems such as “Europe” and “A Last World” do not detail Ashbery’s emotions in a documentary or confessiona...
Page 1-7
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From Luminous Detail to Luminous Debris: Ezra Pound, Gustaf Sobin, and the Modernist Imaginary of Ruins
Patrick Pritchett
This essay traces the central role that Provence plays in the poetry of Ezra Pound and Gustaf Sobin. For both poets, this region in the south of France was a major site of inspiration, whether as the nexus of troubadour culture for Pound, or as a landscape of remnants left by Roman and Neolithic cultures for Sobin. I will focus on their use of the toponymic aura of Provence and how it enables t...
Page 8-20
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Be Bop Ghost in the Machine
Aldon Lynn Nielsen
Larry Neal’s collection of poetry, Hoo Doo Hollerin’ Bebop Ghosts, offers a sort of “hauntology” for examining the legacies of the Black Arts Movement in the fields of poetics and cultural studies. Even now, with new work on the era appearing, the literary institutions have relied heavily on stereotypes of the movement rather than on close readings and critical engagements with the diffuse...
Page 21-27
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History, Poetry, and the Social Relation: Maya Angelou, Bruce Andrews, Claudia Rankine, and Barrett Watten
Herman Rapaport
This essay considers the poets Maya Angelou, Bruce Andrews, Claudia Rankine, and Barrett Watten in the context of history and the social relation. The following rubrics apply: Maya Angelou as speaking truth to power; Bruce Andrews as deconstituting modes of signifying production; Claudia Rankine as interrogating the racialized discourse of faux bonding; and Barrett Watten as representing experi...
Page 28-36
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Did You Hear What They Said?: The Symbology of Mass Media in David Henderson’s “They Are Killing All the Young Men”
Jean-Philippe Marcoux
In this article, I propose to analyze Henderson’s “They Are Killing All the Young Men” in terms of how he deconstructs the symbology of mass media, a representational apparatus responsible for and erected to support the historical and systemic dehumanization of African Americans. By symbology of the media, I mean the complex intersections of agencies and institutions, whose agenda and ideol...
Page 37-55
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Ambivalent Aestheticism: John Butler Yeats’s Legacy to His Son
Robert Archambeau
William Butler Yeats’s ambivalent relationship to aestheticism has rarely been discussed in relation to the views and actions of his father, the painter John Butler Yeats, who had a similarly conflicted relationship to the movement. This article traces the influence of the father’s thinking on the son via an examination of their correspondence and conversations, as well as an examination of ...
Page 56-62
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Bounded and Unbounded Field Functions in Atkins and Olson
Tyrone Williams
This essay discusses the poetry and poetics of Charles Olson and Russell Atkins, two figures whose theories of poetics and literary practices are not customarily addressed in relation to each other. This potentially disputatious comparison is largely oriented towards Atkins’s biography. Still, this text is less an argument than a series of interrogatives posed in the indicative voice, a tribut...
Page 63-68
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Accountable Relationality
Jonathan Stalling
This article includes an excerpt of the artist’s statement that opens the English version of a new book project, “Mirrored Resonance: Interlanguage Art, Poetics, Technology,” a multifaceted project involving linguistics (phonology), poetics, macroeconomics, and cultural theory as embodied by visual arts and poetry on the one hand and applied linguistics (of dictionary, textbook, transcriptio...
Page 69-77
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“But What’s Nationality These Days?”: Cosmopolitanism Old and New in the Prologue of In a Free State
Weiwei Xu
In the prologue ofIn a Free State, Naipaul casts his writer’s net over a multiplicity of underprivileged transnationals, to discuss a series of complex issues of nationality, border-crossing and immigration in violent collision with cosmopolitan ideals. Focusing on the suffering of the tramp, Naipaul questions the social viability of cosmopolitanism on the one hand, and on the other hand fores...
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Free Your Mind: Funk Transfigured as Black Cultural Aesthetics
Tony Bolden
“Free Your Mind: Funk Transfigured as Black Cultural Aesthetics” is a social history of the development of funk music in the late 1960s and 1970s. Using a multi-disciplinary approach that includes literary criticism and a variant of ethnomusicology, the essay examines the coalescence of various socio-historical factors that gave rise to funk music and the transfiguration of the word “funk”...
Page 85-99
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