This issue offers a wide-ranging survey of poetic practice in the United States since the mid-1970s. Comprising scholarship, essays, and poems, “American Poetry after 1975” brings together notable senior critics such as Al Filreis, Marjorie Perloff, and Herman Rapaport, as well as younger critics who are redefining the field. The issue looks at new directions in American poetry as well as contemporary trends such as conceptual poetry; multilingual poetry; ecopoetics, in which writing reaches environmental concerns; and Flarf, subversive poetry that uses search-engine results, grammatical inaccuracies, and intentionally bad taste.
Writing from the forefront of American poetry criticism, contributors to this special issue address topics such as the poetics of disability and the work of clairvoyant poet Hannah Weiner, ambience and the work of Tan Lin, the continuing influence of Wallace Stevens, and the use of found text in Susan Howe’s “The Midnight.” Two younger critics address their generation’s poetics, one by considering the social relevance of the lyric and the other by examining resistance to innovative poetry practice. The intersection of poetry and technology is explored in articles about digital spaces and radical poetry’s relationship with the digital archive. One contributor applies the work of philosopher J. L. Austin to the language of hip-hop and the work of rapper Rakim. Also included are four short poems, a panegyric for the poetics of sophism in critical discourse, and essays that address the aesthetics of sentimental poetry and the poetics of place.