“Poets and Publishers : Circulating Avant-Garde Poetry (1945-2010)”

August 10, 2010


An Historiographical Analysis of Small Presses Publishing American Avant-Garde Poetry and Poetics between 1970-2000
A Research Project funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
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                • Université du Maine, Le Mans, France
                  14-16 October 2010
        • “Poets and Publishers : Circulating Avant-Garde Poetry (1945-2010)”

Call for Papers

In the second half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st, the material conditions of avant-garde poetry’s circulation have come to the attention of critics. With the development of reader-response theory, research about the poets’ ways of informing the larger public of their experiments has come to encompass technical considerations, economic, social and political preoccupations. Small presses–not the vanity presses of former times–thus became the laboratories of the publishing world, picking up on the latest avant-garde movements.

How do these publishers, and the poets who entrust their works to them, contribute to poetic innovation in a publishing context marked by commercial decline of the book and the poem alike? To what extent do small presses convey aesthetic initiatives that would otherwise remain “readerless”? Could one talk, along with American poet Barrett Watten of a “systemic de-totalization” bringing about new configurations of the poetic landscape into networks and archipelagoes?

We are inviting papers that will risk answers to these questions in the context of a wider reflection on the publishing world, its margins and its objects, notably poetic texts inspired and shaped by the recent advances of sociology, philosophy and cultural studies. The aim is a global assessment of the circulation of avant-garde poetry.

300-word proposals in either English, French or Spanish to Hélène AJI (Université du Maine, France, Helene.Aji@univ-lemans.fr) and Manuel BRITO (Universidad de La Laguna, Canaries, Espagne, mbrito@ull.es) by 31 March 2010.

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