Charles Olson Adrift: The Reach of Black Mountain Poetry

deadline for submissions: 
September 9, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
The Charles Olson Society
contact email: 

The Charles Olson Society will sponsor a session at the annual Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900, to be held February 23-25, 2023. We are interested in abstracts that examine the influence of Charles Olson and/or other Black Mountain Poets on poetic practices and their developments up to the present. A variety of poets took up the innovative practices of figures like Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, John Wieners, and others associated with Black Mountain. How have the practices of this fundamentally important school of poetics been extended, transformed, and/or resisted by other poets? Since influence can function as both a positive and a negative spur for the creative process, we will welcome papers that consider either how poets accepted and applauded the spirit of Black Mountain or how poets have taken up the practices, transformed them through acts of resistance, and then made them their own. We welcome abstracts that explore the formal techniques of poets who built on the legacy of Black Mountain Poetry, that seek to draw lines of distinction, theoretical readings, and that assess the reach of Charles Olson and his poetry as a historical phenomenon.


Ultimately, we will draw a wide map of influence as part of a celebration for the fiftieth anniversary of the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture. Those interested should send a 250 word abstract to Joshua Hoeynck ( and to Jeffrey Gardiner ( no later than September 9th. Please include your academic affiliation (if any) and a brief biographical note with your abstract.