From North Carolina Out: Charles Olson, Black Mountain Poetics, and the Later Years

deadline for submissions: 
January 26, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Charles Olson Society
contact email: 

The Charles Olson Society will sponsor a session at the annual American Literature Association Conference, to be held in Chicago, May 23-26. This year, the Society is interested in abstracts that examine the later periods of Black Mountain Poetry. After the closure of Black Mountain College, the liquidation of the property in 1957, and the folding of the Black Mountain Review in the same year, poets like Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, John Wieners, Ed Dorn, and Larry Eigner had to find new centers of community where they could continue the advances of their experimental poetics. Gloucester, Buffalo, San Francisco, New York, Boston, and New Mexico – different locales became important for fostering exchange for these poets. Similarly, little magazines like Yugen, Niagara Frontier Review, and Measure tried to take up the slack from the loss of the Black Mountain Review. After Olson died in 1970, too, it fell to other members of the group to lead. How did Black Mountain Poetry change and evolve through the 1960s and the 1970s, given these shocks to its infrastructure? How did the poetry itself transform as a result? We will welcome abstracts that explore how the formal techniques of the sixties and the seventies, specifically, but also the poets who followed in the eighties, carried the flag of Black Mountain College through various theoretical and formal techniques in their poetics.

Interested scholars and poets should send a 250 word abstract with a title to Joshua Hoeynck ( and Jeffrey Gardiner ( no later than January 26th. Please include your academic affiliation as well as a brief biographical note.