The Music of Black Mountain Poetry

deadline for submissions: 
July 12, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
The Charles Olson Society
contact email: 

The Charles Olson Society will sponsor a session at the annual Re-Viewing Black Mountain College conference, to take place this year in Asheville, North Carolina, November 12-14. Given the conference’s open call for papers, we will accept any proposals that investigate the formal and technical innovations carried out by poets who have looked to Black Mountain College as an influence. However, in keeping with the conference’s thematic focus on John Cage this year, the Society would particularly welcome papers that explore the rich interdisciplinary relationships between the Black Mountain Poets, such as Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, John Wieners, Denise Levertov, etc., and music. Musical influences at and beyond Black Mountain College deeply influenced the verse written by these poets, from Cage to Pierre Boulez, from jazz to classical music, from rock and roll to blues. How does the experimental verse developed by the Black Mountain Poets transform musical influences and deploy what they knew of musical sound to create new sonic relationships between words on the page? We are also interested in papers that look to other poets who were influenced by the Black Mountain Poets and who have a deep interest in using music to create verse: figures like Robin Blaser, Amiri Baraka, and Nathaniel Mackey, among so many others.

Those interested should send a 250-word abstract to Joshua Hoeynck ( no later than July 12th. Please include your academic affiliation (if any) and a brief biographical note with your abstract.