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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
Donald M. Allen’s anthology The New American Poetry, published by Grove Press / Evergreen in the U.S.A. and the U.K., burst onto the literary scene in 1960 to become the single most important and influential book of poetry in the English language published in the second half of the 20th century.
Conceived originally as a collection intended to augment the anthologies of the 1950s with the work of American poets whose careers had flourished since the Second World War, it became, through the influence of Charles Olson (Donald Allen was his editor at Grove Press), a radical and revolutionary manifesto that echoed around the world.
Spanning the period from the modernists through the poets of Origin and The Black Mountain Review, the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beat Generation, the New York poets of the Poet’s Theatre, to the first mapping and performance of a new poetry and poetics from the racial, sexual, aboriginal and cultural margins of a formerly Euro-centric and chauvinist poetry, The New American Poetry became as liberating a movement in writing and letters worldwide as abstract expressionism has been in the visual arts, and as jazz has been in music.
Poet to Publisher: Charles Olson’s Correspondence with Donald Allen tells the story of how that happened.
ISBN 13: 9780889224865 | ISBN 10: 889224862
7 W x 10 H inches | 192 pages
$18.95 CAN / $14.95 US
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: LIT007000
QUOTES OF NOTE
The letters make fascinating reading for their commentary on writers…and literary issues from 1957 to 1969…
— Canadian LIterature
“More than forty years after its first publication, Donald Allen’s The New American Poetry, 1945–1960 continues actively in print. Here is Allen’s collected correspondence with the master poet Charles Olson, which so shaped and defined that initiating work. Together, they undertook to change the formal disposition of poetry and so brought forward those then unknowns, who were to ‘make it new’ for American poets in all the years since.”
— Robert Creeley
About the ContributorsRalph Maud
Ralph Maud (1928–2014) was the author of a number of books on Charles Olsen as well as the editor of a number of books on Dylan Thomas. He was also a noted ethnographer and editor of ethnographic books. Maud was a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.