Projective Verse at 70: Theoretical and Poetic Influences

deadline for submissions: 
September 6, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
The Charles Olson Society
contact email: 

The Charles Olson Society will sponsor a panel at the annual Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900, to be held at the University of Louisville from February 20-22. 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of this important essay, and the panel will therefore examine the essay’s theoretical and poetic legacies. We are interested in abstracts proposing innovative approaches to reading Olson’s essay and the conversations that it started. How have the theoretical or cultural contexts surrounding projective verse created a robust understanding of poetic practice in the post-1945 era? How have the legacies of projective poetry engaged with and inflected theoretical models? While Olson’s essay inaugurated a series of well-known principles and mechanics, such as breath prosody and the notion that form is an extension of content, it is possible to argue that the essay’s on-going use has to do with its influence on a wide variety of poetic movements, from the queer to the feminist, from cultural poetics to technological, environmental, and spiritual poetic practices. While many of these conversations relate to Olson’s own practice, the Society is also interested in abstracts that pertain to poets and groupings of poets who worked on the peripheries of the immediate projective or Black Mountain milieu, such as LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Muriel Rukeyser, Frank O’Hara, Allen Ginsberg, and/or other Beat and New York School poets. Readings that open up the field of American poetry to overlooked social, environmental, or political frameworks will be particularly welcome. 

Those interested should send a 250 word abstract to Joshua Hoeynck ( no later than September 1st. Please include your academic affiliation (if any) and a brief biographical note with your abstract.