Procedural Form in Postmodern American Poetry: Berrigan, Antin, Silliman, and Hejinian

Hardcover | March 15, 2010

byDavid W. Huntsperger

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During the second half of the twentieth century, avant-garde American poets experimented with procedural forms—inventive, predetermined methods or rules for generating poetry. In Procedural Form in Postmodern American Poetry, David Huntsperger suggests that this mode of poetic production calls attention to the changing dynamics of intellectual labor at large. Procedural forms foreground literary labor, and in doing so, they remind us of the extent to which other forms of intellectual production have become formulaic. In this book, Huntsperger combines explication of avant-garde poetry with a discussion of the rapidly changing forms of labor in the postindustrial United States.

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During the second half of the twentieth century, avant-garde American poets experimented with procedural forms—inventive, predetermined methods or rules for generating poetry. In Procedural Form in Postmodern American Poetry, David Huntsperger suggests that this mode of poetic production calls attention to the changing dynamics of inte...

David Huntsperger is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:206 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:March 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023062202X

ISBN - 13:9780230622029

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Social Reading of Postmodern Poetic Form * Procedural Form: An Overview * Making Poems: The “method” of Ted Berrigan’s Sonnets * The Tactics of the Text: Experimental Form in David Antin’s “Novel Poem” * “A new content”: Procedural Form and Concrete Reality in Ron Silliman’s Tjanting  * Objectivist Form and Feminist Materialism in Lyn Hejinian’s My Life * Afterword

Editorial Reviews

“Following Joseph Conte's pioneering work on serial forms in postmodern poetry, Huntsperger reads procedural poetry—works that William James might have recognized as ‘a fine new kind of realism’—not only for evidence of individual acts of extraordinary literary labor, but for clues to the general conditions of economic production in post-war America. All cultural artifacts, from the most recondite avant-garde arcana to the most popular and spectacular corporate entertainments, evince the historical (political, social) pressures that deform them, but the avant-garde, Procedural Form shows us, can also display the possibilities for a studied resistance to such pressures.”—Craig Dworkin, Professor, University of Utah“Examining poetry by Ted Berrigan, David Antin, Ron Silliman, and Lyn Hejinian, David Huntsperger demonstrates how the various procedural forms they employ reveal the labor that goes into the making of the poetry. This matters because it allows Huntsperger to advance a Marxian reading that counters Fredric Jameson’s famous dismissal of postmodern poetry as schizophrenic, presenting it instead as a compelling and rewarding form of social critique.”—Stephen Fredman, author of Contextual Practice: Assemblage and the Erotic in Postwar Poetry and Art“Huntsperger is a congenial and expert guide to the intricacies of ‘procedural form,’ arguing convincingly for the powers of political critique that poetry may still command.”—Peter Nicholls, New York University