Hyperrhiz 5

Louis Armand (Ed.), Contemporary Poetics

Vidhu Aggarwal
Rollins College

Citation: Aggarwal, Vidhu. “Louis Armand (Ed.), Contemporary Poetics.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, no. 5, 2008. doi:10.20415/hyp/005.r07

Abstract: Review of Armand, Louis (Ed.). Contemporary Poetics. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2007: xxx + 396.

Trans- and Para- Practices

Louis Armand's Contemporary Poetics is an ambitious and idiosyncratic compilation (or should I say, ambitious because idiosyncratic) of critical and/or "poetico-critical" writings. It does not limit itself to a discussion of a particular school or arena of poetry (i.e. language or digital poetry), as do the few previous anthologies examining avant-garde poetics, such as Christopher Beach's Artifice and Indeterminacy: An Anthology of Poetics (1998), or new media poetics, such as Adalaide Morris and Thomas Swiss's New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories (2006) or the first and second editions of Eduardo Kac's Media Poetry: An International Anthology (1996 and 2007). With twenty-five pieces ranging from concrete poetics to cyberpoetics, Armand is neither exhaustive nor necessarily inclusive of various poetics, but rather claims to offer a provisional examination of contemporaneity. While the anthology privileges disjunctive poetics, viewing the contemporary in a continuum with such movements as Futurism, Oulipo, and Fluxus, Armand hopes to delineate "a possible poetics of the contemporary" arising out of the "technological condition" of the present which he calls "the time of writing" (xiii). For instance, Armand gives the example of the transatlantic telegraph in the late nineteenth century as forming New York, London, and Paris as contemporaries, as being of the same time. In the "Editors Introduction: Transversions of the Contemporary," Armand allows that the sense of the contemporary or "the present" is itself a historical formation, a condition arising from the technological shifts in communications, transportation, and production flows that allows for a sense of simultaneity in terms of locations, times, and practices.

If the contemporary according to Armand is the condition for writing, it does not necessarily follow then that writing or poetics is a symptom or unconscious manifestation of dystopian elements of our present global, technological culture. Within the prevalent experimental/avante-garde tradition, at least within the U.S., the identificatory subject positions available in such genres as the television show or the "workshop poem" operate as symptomatic if consolatory formal structures attached to false consciousness of capitalist consumption. Meanwhile, more innovative work is purportedly able to deviate through crevices and cracks within the system, enabling a more resistant relational schema. Of course, one of the more interesting and contradictory features of experimental/avante-garde work has been that it often formally mimics the more disjunctive and perhaps violent facets of the global techno-culture, what Arjan Appadurai refers to as "high globalization." In Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger, Appadurai discusses the shift from vertebrate (national) to cellular (transnational) systems. Whereas vertebrate systems work off of traditional nationalist models — propagating symbols, such as flags, and originary stories of the nation-state affiliated with structures national identity — contemporary cellular systems offer more leaky modes of exchanges and mobile borders. These include various cyber communities, including terrorist networks, as well as transnational corporations, producing the movement of people, money, and products outside official regulatory channels. Cellular systems take more abstract, at times predatory, forms, eroding more "unified" national structures through the accelerated and shape-shifting forms of entities such as finance capital. Contemporary Poetics often seems to follow this more cellular model, even though the "anthology" as an entity often invokes more vertebrate, genealogical systems, producing "nations" of poets or artistic movements or poetic arenas. Divided into five parts ("Endgame," "Precursors," "Conjunctions," "Cursors," and "Transpositions"), the section titles nevertheless offer a witty play at progression in which Kristeva's more excitable term for the collision of registers in intertextuality, "transposition," is the privileged last term. With various iterations of the prefix "trans-", Armand seems to be following a larger trend in contemporary criticism though a fascination with mediating figures and states, in which contemporeinity is associated with a type of global cosmopolitanism (as in Armand's example of the rise of various global cities), and in this case a cosmopolitanism of disciplines converging around the ground (or time) of writing.

While Armand describes a techno-global substrate as the condition for writing, he offers another optimistic (perhaps even utopian) "trans"-filter through which he organizes the anthology: the transversal. A mathematical term, indicating a line intersecting other parallel lines at multiple points, the term transversal has entered into current theoretical discourses as a conceptual way out of more totalizing modes of thinking about subjectivity, identity, or history, or as Brian Reynolds discusses elsewhere, a "deterrorialization" of subjectivity and official spaces à la Deleuze and Guattari . While Armand does not necessary define "transversal" as such (nor does he give the term a particular political spin), he nevertheless offers this idea as a way to move beyond genealogies and hierarchies among and between contemporary aesthetic movements. Transversality also provides a way to look at contemporaneity without resorting to redemptive fantasies of the new and the concomitant eschatological disappointments of belatedness. Armand not only uses the idea of the transversal in terms of a macro-view of contemporaneity as potential intersections between multidisciplinary practices and ideas accelerated by various technologies, but also associates it with particular formal and technological micro-features of the present, such as the connective hypertext of the internet which links highly disjunctive entities. In a later essay included in this collection, "Strange Attractors: The Techno-poetics of the Vortex," Armand discusses transversality as "a particular type of punctuation or puncturing, (bifurcations, ruptures, discontinuities, cancellations), suggestive of network of what Mark Auge calls 'non-places'" (296). If we understand the definition of utopia as no-place, we get the sense that for Armand the poetics of new technologies have liberatory and transformative potential of incorporating the tangential and the conditional even as these conditions overlap with the operations of print culture. Transversality, as Armand uses the term, allows for the adjacent connections between disparate sites, but also within the fourth dimension of time, allowing potential conjunctions between the past, present, and future. Indeed, in the introduction, Armand speaks of hypertext in almost Blakian terms as having the potential for providing a conceptual "fourth linguistic dimension between the quasi-infinite and the infinitesimal, as a network of instantaneity between all signifying 'moments'" (xxvii).

A number of the pieces in this volume share this giddy optimism or manifesto-like tone. Steve McCaffery in "Parapoetics of the Architectural Leap," uses "para" as an alternative to "post" in order to insist upon the ongoingness of poetics as an indeterminate "contaminatory" endeavor that creeps into the slippages of multiple disciplines. In "Traps or Tools and Damage," artist and poet Allen Fisher weaves together discourses from particle physics, evolutionary theory, and anthropology to describe the aesthetics of the "crowd-out": art works in various mediums — poetry, drawing, art history — which produce overlapping and recurring patterns, releasing tools and traps from their instrumentality, as if to compel a Heiddegarian recognition of the poetics in everysphere, or a "paratopic" clearing.

However, in "And &," a collaborative essay about transpositions between poetic language and visual art in the context of gallery spaces, D.J. Huppatz, Nicole Tomlinson, and Julian Savage produce a contrapuntal discussion about the vexed relationship between utopia and poetry: "Poetry is always and never utopian — it is a constellation — caesura — discontinuity: the space through with something else is emerging or evaporating . . ." (185). In this double invocation and refutation of utopianism, Tomlinson establishes poetry's relationship to history as one that at once questions its "inexorable linearity" while refusing any liberatory end-of-history scenarios. Describing their own gallery installations and works from the collaborative writers' collective Textbase, Huppatz, Tomlinson, and Savage delineate artistic practices that work off the plurality of citation across mediums as a way to overexcite the perpetual belatedness of the "post-era," where plagiarism becomes "the last refuge from the new" (186). These projects interact with concretism such as in Tomlinson's piece "and" (1998), a mobile of numerous typographic iterations of the word "and" culled from various literary and theoretical texts, blown-up on transparencies, and hung together by invisible strings.

Although Armand includes essays by important figures within the U.S. language school of poetry, such as Steve McCaffery, Charles Bernstein, Bruce Andrews, Bob Perelman, and Marjorie Perloff, he opens up with a disclaimer that the anthology is not an attempt to enter the strife of ongoing debates occurring between different poetics schools. This decision is understandable for a variety of reasons — partly to demonstrate the entanglement of experimental poetics with various other media and disciplines, and to reterritorialize poetics outside a narrow frame of its marginalization within various institutional settings. One of pleasures of this work is that it provides unusual links between figures not always thought in association with each other or with poetic avant-garde practices. In Part Two of the book, the "Precursor" section, there are essays on Kafka and Celan, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Kathy Acker, and Frank Zappa. However, in later sections delineating cyberspace, other precursors appear, so that Mallarme's Un Coup de Des and Joyce's Finnegan's Wake emerge as ur-texts for digital space and computerized mechanizations of chance.

While Armand includes works by artists and scholars from Australia, Europe, and the U.S, as well as both an interview and talk by Augusto de Campus of the Noigandres group in Brazil, there is less of a sense of how these transversions operate outside of Western frameworks. However, a few pieces attempt to create such possibilities. Gregory Ulmer's piece "Image Heuristics" imagines how electrate — or digital media literacy — can produce shifts in consciousness and redefine some of the constructs of Western metaphysics through transforming argumentative literacy about social issues (a.k.a. the standard academic essay). Ulmer explains a type of pedagogy of cyberspace in which students create a group web memorial, or an "electrate commemoration" for a disaster:

Why not make one for 9/11; the event that stands in for any event of loss whose mourning helps define a community? The immediate goal of this assignment is to develop a familiarity with the Web site and the Internet as a media of an emergent language apparatus. The long-range goal is to "improve the world." Or, if not to improve the world, than to understand in what ways the human world is irreparable. (235)

Ulmer lays out a theoretical web ("a choraography" via Lyotard, Zizek, Deleuze, Lacan, and Bataille among others), which involves examining the Ground Zero site in relationship to contemporary tourist spectacles, and viewing the academic essay in relationship to classic tour guides. Through syncretizing discontinuities between iconic signs and images bridging Western and Arab constructs, Ulmer claims that multiple perspectives can open up, such as with the "arabesque," a feature of Arab architecture that appears on U.S. money: "The arabesque makes a map, opens a line a flight, between McWorld and jihad, across and through the different, incommensurable civilizations in the story," and becomes an emblem "of the history of Osama Bin Laden as an employee of the CIA" (253). It is unclear whether or not the students would create hyperlinks between these various "arabesques," or how this abstract figuration of the arabesque becomes a fold or convergence that helps students to understand the links between Osama Bin Ladin and the CIA. While the idea of defetishizing 9/11 through a participatory cyber tourist site seems strangely compelling, the role of the participants and their affective relationship to 9/11 or the digital apparatus remains unclear (Ulmer gives no examples of student responses or contributions). Meanwhile, 9/11 remains ahistorized in Ulmer's description: (9/11 as representative of any loss). The events of 9/11 and subsequent War on Terror have certainly impacted and defined various nationalist agendas, say in Israel or India, locations where Islamic-style architecture has been a feature of the landscape for centuries; indeed, these nations have aligned themselves with the U.S. militarism and justified increased militarism based on shared fears of Islamic "terror." Rather than architectural arabesques, the internet apparatus itself could more likely be the nodal point between McWorld and jihad, as a mode of communication that makes possible transnational communities of mourning as well as extremist forms of dissent.

While a number of essays in the anthology discuss the entanglements between print and digital poetics along with scientific theory, Darren Tofts's " Epigrams, Particle Theory, and Hypertext" is particularly elegant. Tofts draws from Ulmer's notion of electrate subjectivity as well as Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus, and offers a future model of digital literacy via a discussion of particle physics and epigrams. Tofts asks: "If literacy is concerned with letters as fundamental, irreducible particles of meaning, then how can we transport the idea of the particle into the digital realm, the online environment and the hypertextul web?" (220-221). Tofts discusses visual icons as a cyber-substitution for the phonetic alphabet (an iteration of Ulmer's icon of the arabesque) and as a hypertextual point of departure from print literacy. Even though Tofts is ever aware of the limits of both print and digital form, his poetics of both the print and digital realm becomes a fabular theoretical field. Through his analysis of works consisting of multiple epigrammatic units such as Calvino's If on a Winter's Night A Traveler, Tofts attempts to configure a future digital literacy that can shake off the binary constraints of hypertext. Tofts speaks of highly compressed forms — visual icons and epigrams — as generating infinite registers on a miniscule scale — a "discrete fertility," akin to the quantum possibilities of virtual particles in physics in which the compression of matter into infinitely small space pushes out of space-time as a singularity. Like physics diagrams, Tofts descriptions allow us to understand literary works, not simply as precursors to hypertextuality, but as types of two-dimensional models for fifth- or sixth-dimensional space; the literary text appears as one plane of the hypertextual, allowing for speculations about other invisible dimensions. Tofts's piece animates other pieces in the collection that work off of an epigrammatic seriality, such as the initial numbered section of Simon Critchley's discussion of Stevens's poetry as philosophy, "Wallace Stevens and the Intricate Evasions of As," and Alan Sondheim's "Codeword," which interacts with translations of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosphicus (itself epigrammatic) to map out the logic and illogic of computer code or codework as a form which mediates uncomfortably between literature and mathematics.

In "From Hypertext to Codework," McKenzie Wark discusses how codework poetics incorporates the hidden code languages of digital processes. He also discusses a poetics of computer coding that allows multiple uses to create defamiliarized texts, and codes that self-generate hybrid language systems resembling spam:

This might be a mangled machine English, or perhaps an English written by a machine programmed by someone who speaks English as a second language, or someone producing of simulation of some such. (281)

Wark talks about how deferrals of authorship can at times break down "the link between authorship and intellectual property" (281). The question then remains: if English has become the global language, aren't these mangled English forms already proliferating internationally and across the web, unsolicited and uncopyrighted? What are the politics of the avant-garde reappropriating broken English as a form of infinite play, akin to a global Finnegan's Wake? Aside from Blake and Joyce, there are, of course, more recent international precursors to such experimentations not mentioned in the anthology, such as the work of Caribbean poet, Kamau Brathwaite; in Letter Sycorax, Caliban's "mwangled" English interfaces with an IBM computer through multiple global cultural registers from Ovid to Star Trek, producing a vociferous charge to the term "cursor," barely hinted at in Armand's "Cursor" section.

Speaking of Star Trek, what about popular analogs to digital avant-gardes? These electrate hybrid apparatuses call up science fiction futures of computerized brains floating through the cosmos or even the humanoid hybrid on the recent television show, Battlestar Galactica. This Battlestar hybrid, submerged in an amniotic bath, makes almost unintelligible forecasts about the future, just the codework structures Wark describes "hover on the brink of legibility" (282). Wark teases out some of these connections when he speaks about how codework implies a pragmatic rather than purely abstract relationship to language, one that accounts for material conditions of its processes: the relationship between the codeworker and the multiple components of the computer system itself. For Wark, codework is a language that is "media art," related to cinema and music and other branches of media. However, despite obvious continuities between more experimental digital practices and the popular imaginary, the aggregate of essays about digital poetics in Armand's anthology could be characterized as somewhat popular culture avoidant, even when contributors such as Wark and Tofts have written more extensively about popular culture forms elsewhere. One notable exception is J. Hillis Miller's "The Poetics of Cyberspace: Two Ways to Get a Life," an essay in which Miller contrasts the coming-of-age experiences of Homer and Jimjim, two fantasy boys from the print age and the digital age, respectively. As Miller describes him, Jimjim is an online multi-tasker, communicating with various communities, playing web games, chatting, doing homework simultaneously (contemporaneity as hyper-activities). The very connectivity of cyberspace hardly allows an avant-garde insularity, when, for instance, even mainstream and experimental poetry communities cross-contaminate in such spaces as Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org) and Ron Silliman's blog site.

At the same time, Armand's anthology offers a compelling re-examination of the U.S. language school, the prevalent experimental/avant-garde poetic tradition in the U.S. for the last twenty-five years. The anthology actually opens with Bernstein's "How Empty Is My Bread Pudding," which begins with the line: "The conceited poet believes the entire world to be his poem" (5). It is difficult not to read this piece within the context of Armand's short "Endgame" section as a form of ironic lament for the makers, a questioning of whether the tenets of the U.S. language-centered poetics hold true in the present, as Armand's calls Bernstein's piece a "Swiftian satire of generative poetics" (xxvii). Indeed, as Perloff outlines in the second essay of this collection, "After Language Poetry: Innovation and Its Theoretical Discontent," a certain revolutionary idealism accompanied early credos of language-centered writing with the idea that transformations in writing and reading practices could resist the prescribed scripts of consumer capitalism. Language writing emphasized the materiality of the text, the detachment of the signifier from the signified, the primacy of the reader over the author, the redefinition of poetry as a mode of critical inquiry, and particularly the rejection of the poet/author in the bardic mode of authentic feeling and self-expression. Through language, poets have done much to link formal questions of experimental poetry to critique and specifically political critique; insisting upon the social value of indeterminate and frustrating forms, they have often (but not always) done so by critiquing traditional lyric as ideologically conservative and empty, particularly in its guise as mainstream "official verse." Rather than defining this "new" poetics primarily against other aesthetic products of consumer culture — television, films — much of the opposition was toward "the workshop poem," a poetic model disseminated throughout creative writing programs in the U.S., one that links poetic success with finding "a voice," an "I," reproducing broader consumer ideologies of "true feeling" and individuality. Absent in Armand's collection is a rehearsal of the wrongness of the workshop poem model ever-present in previous anthologies, producing a greater connection between earlier language school formulations and "codework" processes such those described by Sondheim and Wark.

Yet, perhaps the radical "conceit" of these earlier experimental movements was this idea that the poem (not the poet) could shape the world anew in its reinscription of the very terms of language, the linguistic order that grounds reality a la Wittgenstein and French poststructuralist theories. We can see how disjunctive aesthetics follow — to some extent — from Frankfort School leanings, but nevertheless may retain persistent blind spots to self-mythologizing. Perloff demonstrates that the theory arising simultaneous to the language movement did not have the same investment in the idea of innovation as the poetry. After tracking the theoretical constellation for McCaffery, Silliman, Andrews, and Bernstein, Perloff traces the various theoretical adjustments within innovative writing camps in the late nineties as many realized that "so-called innovative writing — writing that is fragmented, asyntactic, nonsensical, etc., — can be just as fetishized as anything else" (21).

For Perloff, it is an anthology of fifty women poets in Mary Margaret Sloan's 1990s anthology, Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women, which begs the question: Who isn't innovative? Yet, we can see in this very idea of the anthology or compilation of multiple voices as homologous of some of the group-centered computer poetic constructions described by Ulmer and Wark. Collectives and communities have been part of the thinking of language/innovative poets in the U.S., with such group manifestos as "Aesthetic Tendency and the Politics of Poetry" by Carla Harrryman, Lyn Hejinian, Steve Benson, Bob Perelman, Ron Silliman, and Barrett Watten. However, if the theoretical discussion was politicized in terms of Marxist notions of the commodity fetish, Perloff admits less through examination of gender and race within early language movement dominated as it was by "founding fathers." Perloff indicates the centrality of women in experimental movements — citing poets Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Fanny Howe, and later, Harryette Mullen — all represented in the Moving Borders Anthology from 1998, but Perloff criticizes contributors for their imprecise or "soft" attempts at theorizing (i.e., conflating metaphor with metonymy). Even if Perloff suggests in this essay that "theory" has been over-valued and fetishised as a means for performing innovation and expertise within experimental movements, the essays in Contemporary Poetics do not necessarily suggest a turning away from such theoretical performance. One wonders if placing Perloff's piece early in the collection works as a type of apologia for the lack of essays by Howe or Hejinian as opposed to the "founding fathers," Andrews, Bernstein, and McCaffery.

And yet, interestingly enough, a number of the pieces in Contemporary Poetics are somewhat "fuzzy" in their poetico-critical mode (Bernstein, Andrews) and at times even advocate a poetics of imprecision, such as Keston Sutherland's "Vagueness, Poetics." In a witty first-person essay both underscoring and refuting the rehearsal of philosophical and literary genealogies as proof of rigor, Sutherland describes an anxiety of imprecision via interactions with the work of Pound and Russell: "What I feel is a pressure not to specify but more anxiously a pressure not to concede to precision, by which I do mean Pound's sense of the word, and Russell's sense, and the word less specially understood" (181). In "Doctor Williams's Position, Updated," Bob Perelman discusses Pound and Eliot's injunctions toward precision in poetic language in relationship to the muddle of Williams's "Asphodel: A Greeny Flower," a poem whose famous lines have been quoted for different purposes by poets of various schools. Perelman questions his own skepticism and discomfort with the sentimental "soft" logic behind some of Williams's later work. In this sense, Perelman mediates on the relationship between imprecision (affective logic) and authenticity (who has claims to certain subject positions). Perelman brings up some of the disquiet within experimental communities now that avant-garde techniques (catachresis, parataxis, etc.) have been absorbed into mainstream practices and have lost some of their political grounding, but nevertheless advocates "inauthenticity" as a necessary condition for poetics though his engaging readings about various hoaxes in academic/poetic communities. In "How Empty Is My Bread Pudding," Bernstein seems not only to implicate some of orthodoxies of the avant-garde, but also to absorb (ironically) some of the logic of "feeling" from the workshop lyric group.

I suppose I could equally say the foundation of language is empathy, that empathy is what allows us to get the sense of something, and that its absence puts us outside the possibilities for meaning. But I don't like my empathy solicited ... Problem is: is it really possible for a poem not to tip its didactic hat? (9)

In "Metaphor: The Color of Being," Ricardo L. Nirenberg examines metaphors in relationship to mathematic models, and makes the case for a necessary integration of pathos of metaphor with scientific logos without rehearsing the arguments privileging metonymy over metaphor so common in the language movement in the last thirty years. Yet few of these accounts of this troubled binary between logic/emotion or inquiry/self-expression highlight gender difference. As much as the heroic individualism within lyric subjectivity is a holdover from Romanticism, the ideologies of authentic feeling or sentimental address is often culturally gendered as feminine, as Lauren Berlant has pointed out in her recent The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. In a discussion of the Trimmings, a work by Haryette Mullen which "internalizes the theoretical paradigm of the language poets" (28) in order to reconfigure traditions of African American orality and female domesticity, Perloff points to Mullen's particular use of traditional lyric subjectivity as a way of critiquing the feminization and marginalization of poetry itself. In doing so, Perloff indicates a type of endpoint to "innovation" and theoretical refashioning, when works such as Mullen that incorporate some aspects of tradition speak to the condition of the contemporary if not the already exhausted new.

With its attention to gender and race, "Language Poetry and Its Discontents," Perloff's 1998 essay (both early in the collection and a decade old), seems to describe a different moment and a different set of considerations than a more recent essay by Perloff that ends Armand's collection, "Screening the Page/Paging the Screen: Digital Poetics and the Differential Text," an elaboration of "differential poetics" mentioned only briefly in the first essay. Perloff describes multivalent collaborations between poets with riffs on gender, sexuality, and race traveling from page to screen and back again (a matrix involving Brian Kim Stefans, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Dodie Bellamy that produces Stefans's fantastic filmic poem, The Dream Life of Letters), as if the digital apparatus itself promotes such "differential" combinations and recombinations of subjectivity organically. J. Hillis Miller's fantasy child of web culture, Jimjim, already belongs to multiple web communities and has taken on many different avatars; he does not necessarily know or need to know much about the locations of the bodies with whom he is communicating. This dislocation is normative and does not seem to produce dizziness or nausea, as if the radical implications of poststructuralist theories of selfhood are being realized in cyberspace. The question then becomes whether Armand's notion of transversality speaks to a particular iteration of the contemporary which offers a idealistic and exuberant transcendence of subject positions, leaning towards para-identity (rather than the more commonplace formulation of post-identity) in which all identities are floating, mobile, consumable, necessarily inauthentic, and ultimately up for grabs, whether in the present or in some future clearing.

Contemporary Poetics is an important collection: it is speculative, it speaks to the future, and it offers elaborate theoretical frames for looking at the continuities and discontinuities between print and digital forms, among others. However, in purposely avoiding complaint or antagonisms between schools, contributors, etc., the collection is at times missing some of the back-and-forth dissent, fleeting and commonplace on the web, such as recent online debates about "Numbers Trouble," a Chicago Review article by Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young concerning the feeling "that feminism is irrelevant or outdated" (90) in the experimental poetry scene. Even if one could wish for a greater engagement with some of the more messy, irresolvable, and violent attributes of the contemporary global condition, every anthology has its limitations, a tendency to monumentalize certain aspects of a particular time over others. Perhaps Contemporary Poetics is best read in tandem with these other online conversations. After all, Armand's introduction to the anthology and Perloff's final essay from this collection (at least at the time of this writing) can be found online, where such discussions about poetry and poetics are indeed ongoing and sprawling.


  1. See Brian Reynolds, "The Devil's House, "or worse": Transversal Power and Antitheatrical Discourse in Early Modern England," Theatre Journal 49. 2 (May 1997): 143-167.
  2. See Christopher Beach, Artifice and Indeterminacy: An Anthology of New Poetics. Ed, Christopher Beach. (Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama, 1998); Charles Bernstein s The Politics of Poetic Form (New York: Roof, 1990).


Appadurai, Arjun. Fear of Small Numbers: A Geography of Anger. Durham: Duke, 2006. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/9780822387541

Armand, Louis.Ed. Contemporary Poetics. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2007.

Beach Christopher, Ed. Artifice and Indeterminancy: An Anthology of New Poetics. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama, 1998.

Berlant, Lauren. The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. Durham: Duke, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/9780822389163

Bernstein, Charles Ed. The Politics of Poetic Form. New York: Roof, 1990.

Reynolds, Brian. "The Devil's House, "or worse": Transversal Power and Antitheatrical Discourse in Early Modern England." Theatre Journal, 49. 2 (May 1997): 143-167. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/tj.1997.0054

Sloan, Mary Margaret. Ed. Moving Borders: There Decades of Innovative Writing by Women. Jersey City: Talisman House, 1998.

Spahr, Juliana and Stephanie Young. "Numbers Trouble." Chicago Review, 53:2/3 (Autumn 2007): 88-111.