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Wallace Stevens and the New York School (deadline Sept. 15, 2011)
full name / name of organization:
The Wallace Stevens Society
Call for Papers
Wallace Stevens and the New York School
Wallace Stevens is a poet invoked to define what the New York School is just as frequently as he is invoked to describe what the New York School is not. In “Fresh Air,” Kenneth Koch lists Stevens with William Carlos Williams and various “French poets” in response to the mock-didactic question “Who are the great poets of our time, and what are their names?” And while Frank O’Hara was the first reviewer to associate John Ashbery with Stevens, calling Ashbery’s first book Some Trees “the most beautiful first book to appear in America since Harmonium,” O’Hara was coyer about his own allegiance in “Biotherm”: “I don’t get any love from Wallace Stevens no I don’t.” Of course, it was the Stevens influence that allowed Harold Bloom to canonize Ashbery, effectively isolating him from the rest of the New York School.
Following recent studies such as Andrew Epstein’s _Beautiful Enemies_, Maggie Nelson’s _Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions_, and Timothy Gray’s _Urban Pastoral_—books that have revised early readings like Bloom’s by situating the group in other traditions and wider fields of artistic production such as the Cold War, collaboration, and the pastoral mode—this panel invites papers on any aspect of the relationship between Stevens and the New York School broadly conceived. Contributions that address Stevens’ influence on the first and subsequent generations of the New York School of poets are welcomed, as are papers that examine Stevens’ relation to the New York School of painters. How, we might ask, has Stevens been used to construct the New York School, and how has the New York School contributed to constructing Stevens? How can new understandings of this relationship help us to reevaluate categories like “the New American Poetry,” postwar American poetry, modernism, the avant-garde, and world literature? Further, how might such a comparison open up a productive reassessment of abstraction along both aesthetic and political lines? Also welcomed are papers considering inheritors of both traditions (e.g., women poets influenced by both Stevens and Barbara Guest).
Please send 300-word proposals for 20-minute papers to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2011.