ACLA 2015 CFP: Poetry After Language (3/26-3/29, Seattle, WA)

full name / name of organization: 
Marijeta Bozovic, Yale University; Kevin M. F. Platt, University of Pennsylvania; Walt Hunter, Clemson University

The L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E school of poetry marked a shift—or a return to avant-garde practice—in American poetry in the 1970s. This seminar examines the continuing international significance of the L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E school of poetry in the wake of renewed politically engaged practices after the international years of protest of 2011-2013. At a moment when artistic movements across the world are taking up avant-garde and modernist strategies, what is the legacy of that earlier recovery of the avant-garde? Diverse poetic practices associated with the loosely defined movement edged toward the position, in Lyn Hejinian's words, that: "Language is nothing but meanings, and meanings are nothing but a flow of contexts. Such contexts rarely coalesce into images, rarely come to terms. They are transitions, transmutations, the endless radiating of denotation into relation." Hejinian's exchanges and mutual inspiration with Arkady Dragomoshchenko and the poets of the Leningrad underground have been documented—in what other ways has L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poetry gained a global reach? How has contemporary avant-garde poetic practice incorporated, extended, or critiqued the relation between poetic language and political formation? We return to the "language of inquiry" in Anglophone, Russophone, South American, Francophone, and diverse global poetries—to raise questions of transcultural, translingual, and transmedia poetic movements. Possible topics might include: vernacular poetries and the avant-garde; poetry and translation; the place of poetry in a literary world-system; the international flourishing of hybrid forms of poetry, including lyric essays and disruptive performances; political readings of meter and trope; international poetry journals and publishing; institutions of contemporary global poetry.