Poetry Now: Who Reads It? How Do We Read? Why? [DEADLINE EXTENDED]

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Jan Maramot / PAMLA 2023
contact email: 

PAMLA 2023 Special Session

October 26-29, 2023

This panel is and isn’t about poetry. At its core, it is a panel about our reading habits surrounding poetry, the ways in which the definition of poetry has shifted in its capaciousness, about how we recognize a poem, what has happened to poetry’s public in the wake of Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading of "The Hill We Climb" in Joseph Biden’s presidential inauguration, and what poetry might become in a heavily digitized, perhaps even metaversal future. The specter that haunts this panel is Stanley Fish’s “How to Recognize a Poem When You See One,” but his essay is really just one starting point in how critics have been fervently trying to recognize our reading habits on poetry.

This panel seeks papers that interrogate and tackle these questions: What and who is poetry for nowadays and how has our practice of reading poetry changed especially in the 21st century? If there is even a definition of poetry, what is it now versus in a more print-based era around the late 20th century? What do we make of poetry in an age where its digitization is so much more convenient than ever before?

While readings of specific poets or movements have their place in literary history (think the process of lyricization as articulated by Virginia Jackson), what we also need to interrogate is how identifying the practices we can tend to take for granted (example: how did we get to Whitman and Dickinson being our central queer 19th century American poets?) can also say a lot about both our poetic present and future. Do our reading practices inform the process of poetry created in the realms of social media? How do we read poems that aren’t produced in the auspices of academic presses? The category of what is considered poetry has often been capacious depending on who you talk to, but it is especially even moreso as contemporary poems in print begin to take nods from how we talk and converse in the digital age.

Please submit abstracts to this link: https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/Home/S/18811

Any questions? Contact me at: jmaramot@uci.edu