ALL POETS WELCOME: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s

Daniel Kane, Author . Univ. of California $65 (348p) ISBN 978-0-520-23384-3 ISBN 978-0-520-23385-0

Kane's volume is the first to tackle the period in New York's downtown literary history most closely tied to the group of poets known as the "Second Generation New York School," including Bernadette Mayer, Ted Berrigan, Ann Waldman, Ron Padgett and Lewis Warsh. His concise and nuanced account covers not only the poetry of the period—a light-hearted collage-aesthetic that cemented societal bonds by including the names and activities of friends and lovers was the order of the day—but also the many personalities that populated the wilds of New York's Lower East Side, from the African-American Umbra Poets (including Hendrix biographer Dave Henderson and Lorenzo Thomas), the poet/songwriter Ed Sanders (co-founder of the Fugs and editor of Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts), Jungian "deep image" poets such as Robert Kelly and Clayton Eshlemen and proto-Language poets such as Bernadette Mayer and Clark Coolidge. Emerging out of the milieu where they read together at small cafes was not just the "mimeo revolution" (the rise of poetry journals that were run off in the basement of a "secret location on the Lower East Side") and not just cultural institutions that still have legs (and capacity for subversion) over 20 years later, such as the St. Mark's Poetry Project, but cultural spin-offs that have had global repercussions, most importantly punk rock and No Wave (via Patti Smith) and the Black Arts Movement. This volume, which includes a 35-track CD of readings by poets—including some who were just passing through, like the late Boston poet John Wieners— is a must-have for historians of American poetry in the 20th century. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Hardcover - 348 pages - 978-0-520-23384-3
Open Ebook - 348 pages - 978-0-520-93643-0
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