Poet to Publisher
Charles Olson's Correspondence with Donald Allen
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.