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The Recovery of the Public World
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Monday March 29, 2010 in Books

The Recovery of the Public World
Essays on Poetics in Honour of Robin Blaser

Edited by Charles Watts & Edward Byrne

The Recovery of the Public World is a collection of texts and talks which address the work of poet Robin Blaser and the field inhabited by his work. It is a field in which the private and the public are grounded in a poetic thinking that operates within the problematics of companionship and community. The companions are “you, dear reader,” the ghosts of Pindar, Duncan, Dante, Sappho, Spicer, Nerval, Mallarmé … and the inquiring voices, echoing throughout this book, of Arendt, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Agamben, Serres, De Certeau, Nancy, Ronell.… The community is an “image-nation,” a community in which, in Robin Blaser’s words, “the struggle in philosophy and poetry [is] central to our private and public lives.” Speaking, writing, working out a poetics like Blaser’s, which is both furious and intelligent, compassionate and amiable, as well as active in its imagination, offers to many of us a means of resistance to that “conditionless condition” which characterizes the common predicament of the mass societies in which we live.

The Recovery of the Public World provides an introduction to that work which, until very recently, was the least well-known major body of work of all the poets who were included in Donald Allen’s ground-breaking anthology, The New American Poets. That Robin Blaser is one of the great North American poets is a fact which many of his peers have known for some time; the availability of The Holy Forest in print and the publication of the essays from three generations of poets from Canada, the U.S.A., the U.K. and New Zealand in The Recovery of the Public World now ensure that a wider reading public will know it as well.

Contributors to the volume include: Charles Altieri, Charles Bernstein, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Bruce Boone, Michael Boughn, David Bromige, Colin Browne, Pauline Butling, Don Byrd, Hilary Clark, Norma Cole, Michael Davidson, Steve Dickison, Clayton Eshleman, Norman Finkelstein, Peter Gizzi, Alan Golding, Susan Howe, Robert Hullot-Kentor, Pierre Joris, Paul Kelley, Kevin Killian, Andrew Klobucar, Michele Leggott, Michael McClure, Daphne Marlatt, D.S. Marriott, Tom Marshall, Peter Middleton, Miriam Nichols, Michael Ondaatje, Michael Palmer, Kristin Prevallet, Peter Quartermain, Jed Rasula, Lisa Robertson, Leslie Scalapino, Andrew Schelling, George Stanley, David Levi Strauss, David Sullivan, Nathaniel Tarn, Susan Vanderborg, Pasquale Verdicchio, Anne Waldman, Phyllis Webb, Jerry Zaslove, and Robin Blaser.

ISBN 13: 9780889223882 | ISBN 10: 889223882
7 W x 10 H x 1 D inches | 464 pages
$39.95 CAN / $29.95 US
Rights: World
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: LIT004080

QUOTES OF NOTE

Poets and thinkers describe his work, assess his accomplishments and contribute refections on the literary projects and subjects Blaser has helped to construct.
Publishers Weekly

About the Contributors

Charles Watts

Charles Watts was curator of Special Collections in Simon Fraser University’s library from 1980-1997. A man of rare enthusiasm and energy, he is credited with having built SFU’s contemporary literature collection into one of the best on the continent. In 1995, he and Edward Byrne organised a conference in honour of Robin Blaser and later edited a collection of essays under the same title The Recovery of the Public World (Talonbooks 1998). He published one book of his own poetry, Bread and Wine (Tantrum 1987).

Edward Byrne

Edward Byrne is currently a Director of the Trade Union Research Bureau in Vancouver, and is a member of the Kootenay School of Writing Collective. He is the author of Aporia (1989) and Beautiful Lies (1995). Edward Byrne is the co-editor of The Recovery of the Public World: Essays on Poetics in Honour of Robin Blaser (1999).


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