"'You are not great you are life': 50 Years of Alice Notley’s Poetics of Care" (NeMLA 2022)
The range, audacity, and radical commitments of Alice Notley’s poetry are unmatched in contemporary literature. Having published continuously for over 50 years, Notley is one of the most important and celebrated American poets of the 20th and 21st centuries. This NeMLA roundtable aims to address the full scope of Notley’s writing and aesthetic activity from 1970 to the present, from the slant domesticity of her early volumes in the 1970s, to the investment in gendered urban publics in the 1980s, to an attention to environmental crisis in the early 1990s, to the more oracular interest in the relationship between “one” and “world” in recent volumes, in order to variously describe a poetics of care in Notley’s work.
This roundtable will be the first gesture in critically accounting for Notley’s writing from the full range of her career. Scholarly assessments tend to situate Notley’s The Descent of Alette (1996) as a breakthrough moment in career, although the 25 years of writing that precede Descent continue to be understudied. Additionally, the pace and scope of Notley’s ongoing publishing have made it challenging for readers to create continuity between her early and recent work. The roundtable welcomes contributions that think creatively across Notley’s five decades of publishing, to emphasize the diversity of Notley’s production as poet, artist, and critic, which will allow for appreciation of her work across scales, from the entangled domestic lyric of Songs for the Unborn Second Baby to the capacious sociolinguistic epic of For the Ride.
Abstracts are due September 30 and can be submitted via the NeMLA submission portal: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/CFP. NeMLA 2022 will take place on March 10-13, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland.