Poetry and the Public

Joseph Harrington, Author
Joseph Harrington, Author Wesleyan University Press $50 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8195-6537-2
Reviewed on: 06/01/2002
Release date: 06/01/2002
It's not the penetrating but expected chapters on Alan Tate and Wallace Stevens, that make Poetry and the Public: The Social Form of Modern U.S. Poetics one of the most compelling books on modernism published this year. What stands out are the resuscitations and excellent discussions of ""Publicity, Sabotage, and Arturo Giovannitti's `Poetry of Syndicalism'"" and ""Poetry as Crossing: The Newspaper Verse of Anise (Anna Louise Strong),"" the latter as fierce as it is Wobbly. Anyone who has reveled in the mix of high and low verse in the Library of America's American Poetry: The Twentieth Century anthology will find University of Kansas English professor Joseph Harrington's account a confirmation of extraordinary possibilities for public poetry, even given the closing chapter on 1990s academicism.
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