A wide-ranging anthology of experimental writing—prose, poetry, and hybrid—from its most significant practitioners and innovators
A variety of names have been used to describe fiction, poetry, and hybrid writing that explore new forms and challenges mainstream traditions. Those phrases include experimental, conceptual, avant-garde, hybrid, surfiction, fusion, radical, slip-stream, avant-pop, postmodern, self-conscious, innovative, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing, alternative, and anti- or new literature. Conceptualisms: The Anthology of Prose, Poetry, Visual, Found, E- & Hybrid Writing as Contemporary Art is the first major anthology of writing that offers readers an overview of this other tradition as it lives in the early decades of the 21st century.
Featuring over 100 pieces from more than 90 authors, this anthology offers a plethora of aesthetics and approaches to a wide variety subjects. Editor Steve Tomasula has gathered poems, prose, and hybrid pieces that all challenge our understanding of what literature means. Intended as a collection of the most exciting and bold literary work being made today, Tomasula has put a spotlight on the many possibilities available to writers and readers wishing for a glimpse of literature’s future.
Readers will recognize authors who have shaped contemporary writing, as among them Lydia Davis, Charles Bernstein, Jonathan Safran Foer, Shelley Jackson, Nathaniel Mackey, David Foster Wallace, and Claudia Rankine. Even seasoned readers will find authors, and responses to the canon, not yet encountered. Conceptualisms is a book of ideas for writers, teachers and scholars, as well as readers who wonder how many ways literature can live.
The text features headnotes to chapters on themes such as sound writing, electronic literature, found text, and other forms, offering accessible introductions for readers new to this work. An online companion presents statements about the work and biographies of the authors in addition to audio, video, and electronic writing that can’t be presented in print. Visit www.conceptualisms.info to read more.
John Ashbery Harvard University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS221.A84 2000 | Dewey Decimal 811.5209
One of the greatest living poets in English here explores the work of six writers he often finds himself reading "in order to get started" when writing, poets he turns to as "a poetic jump-start for times when the batteries have run down." Among those whom John Ashbery reads at such times are John Clare, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Raymond Roussel, John Wheelwright, Laura Riding, and David Schubert. Less familiar than some, under Ashbery's scrutiny these poets emerge as the powerful but private and somewhat wild voices whose eccentricity has kept them from the mainstream--and whose vision merits Ashbery's efforts, and our own, to read them well.
Deeply interesting in themselves, Ashbery's reflections on these poets of "another tradition" are equally intriguing for what they tell us about Ashbery's own way of reading, writing, and thinking. With its indirect clues to his work and its generous and infectious appreciation of a remarkable group of poets, this book conveys the passion, delight, curiosity, and insight that underlie the art and craft of poetry for writer and reader alike. Even as it invites us to discover the work of poets in Ashbery's other tradition, it reminds us of Ashbery's essential place in our own.