At the Edge of the Postmodern? American Poetry in the 1950s (May 22-25, 2014)
The Charles Olson Society is sponsoring a panel titled "At the Edge of the Postmodern? American Poetry in the 1950s" at the 2014 ALA conference. Olson was perhaps the first American poet to use the contested term "postmodern" (in a letter to Robert Creeley, August 1951), and the 1950s may be taken as a pivotal or liminal decade in American poetics. The great Modernists (Eliot, Pound, Williams, Stevens) were still at work, as well as their epigones (Lowell, Bishop, Berryman, et al.), but new directions seemed everywhere--not only Black Mountain, but Beat, confessional, Deep Image, New York school, and many others (Don Allen would try to organize some of these in "The New American Poetry, 1945-1960"). We are interested in papers that explore any aspect of the American poetry scene in the 1950s. Papers may focus on individual poets or poems, on particular groups of poets, or on the decade more broadly. Please submit abstracts of 300 words or fewer by December 20, 2013.