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“Poetry and Poetics after Wallace Stevens”, Eeckhout’s newest publication, has rolled off the press this week. A pleasant surprise, as the book was slated for 2017. “Poetry and Poetics after Wallace Stevens” is co-edited with Lisa Goldfarb (New York University) and will be in bookstores on 17 November 2016.
As the figure of Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) becomes so entrenched in the Modernist canon that he serves as a major reference point for poets and critics alike, the time has come to investigate poetry and poetics after him. The ambiguity of the preposition is intentional: while after may refer neutrally to chronological sequence, it also implies ways of aesthetically modeling poetry on a predecessor. Likewise, the general heading of poetry and poetics allows the sixteen contributors to this volume to range far and wide in terms of poetics (from postwar formalists to poets associated with various strands of Postmodernism, Language poetry, even Confessional poetry), ethnic identities (with a diverse selection of poets of color), nationalities (including the Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and several English poets), or language (with side steps into French and Czech poetry).
Besides offering a rich harvest of concrete case studies, Poetry and Poetics after Wallace Stevens also reconsiders possibilities for talking about poetic influence. How can we define and refine the ways in which we establish links between earlier and later poems? At what level of abstraction do such links exist? What have we learned from debates about competing poetic eras and traditions? How is our understanding of an older writer reshaped by engaging with later ones? And what are we perhaps not paying attention to - aesthetically, but also politically, historically, thematically - when we relate contemporary poetry to someone as idiosyncratic as Stevens?
“A landmark work of scholarly and editorial imagination. In this probing, often dazzling, and clearly transformative volume, we encounter a Stevens whose reverberant afterlives are many, various, and complex. In its ambition and its willingness to embrace discrepancy and disjunction, this volume breaks new ground for hearing and counter-hearing Stevens into the 21st century. (…) This book will appeal to anyone interested in Stevens, in the ghostlier as well as keener demarcations of his legacy, and in the legacy of Modernism tout court.” – Maureen N. McLane, Professor of English, New York University, USA, and author of My Poets
Bart Eeckhout is Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Antwerp. He is Editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal, author of Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing (2002), and co-editor of Wallace Stevens across the Atlantic (2008), Wallace Stevens, New York, and Modernism (2012), and five special issues of The Wallace Stevens Journal. He is currently at NIAS to investigate the ways in which the American modernist poet Wallace Stevens’ writings relate to the world and may be considered relevant to world literature.
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