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Literary Theory

Analysis of Robert Duncan’s Poems

Of the many metaphors that Robert Duncan (January 7, 1919 – February 3, 1988) applied to his poetry—and very few poets have been so perceptive and articulate about their own practice—those dealing with limits, boundaries, and margins are numerous and… Read More ›

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The Objectivist Poets

The term objectivist was coined by Louis Zukofsky in 1930 for “‘Objectivists’ 1931,” a special issue of Poetry for which he served as guest editor. Of the many poets included in that issue and in its follow-up anthology, An “Objectivists”… Read More ›

The New York School of Poetry

The New York school of poetry was an innovative group of poets made up principally by Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, James Schuyler, and Kenneth Koch. Their poetry was experimental, philosophical, staunchly antiestablishment, and antiacademic. The group began writing… Read More ›

The Language Poets

The writers who emerged in the 1970s and have been identified variously as “Language poets,” “L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets” and “so-called Language poets” generally conceive of themselves less as a movement or school than as a loosely knit community of writers who,… Read More ›

Deep Image Poetry

Deep image poetry was part of the post–World War II, New American poetry inspired by the Beats and the Black Mountain School. The “deep” of deep image refers not to some attempt at political or philosophical “profundity” but to the… Read More ›

Harlem Renaissance

Between 1919 and 1934 African-American artists flocked to New York City, specifically to Harlem. This era was to become one of the most prolific periods of African-American writing. What Alain Locke called in 1925 a “New Negro Movement” was later… Read More ›