Wallace Stevens and the New York School Poets

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

For a while now, I’ve been trying to make the case here and there that Wallace Stevens’s outsized influence on American avant-garde poetry — including on the poets of the New York School — has often been overlooked, to the detriment of both.

Now, I’ve had the chance to expand on this argument in an essay I contributed to a new collection entitled The New Wallace Stevens Studies, edited by Bart Eeckhout and Gül Bilge Han, which was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

In the piece, I argue that literary history has long downplayed or ignored Stevens’s crucial role in the history of experimental poetics, from Objectivism, to the various movements of the “New American Poetry,” to Language poetry, and beyond. For reasons I discuss in the essay, Stevens has long been cast as a formalist favorite and latter-day Romantic or neo-Symbolist poet, of marginal importance to avant-garde poets…

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