cover image The Grand Piano: Part 1

The Grand Piano: Part 1

Lyn Hejinian, Barrett Watten, Ron Silliman. This Press, $12.95 (79pp) ISBN 978-0-9790198-0-7

This short, multi-author work is the first of a projected ten in a series chronicling the West Coast wing of the language poetry movement, which was at its most cohesive from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s. The books are named for a San Francisco reading series that was a focal point of the movement, and the focus of this first volume is love-in poetry, in relationships, as a primal human force, as ""a basic issue facing writers"": each of the ten authors offers a few paragraphs on love as it relates to the five years covered by the volume. The results are not cohesive, but neither are they cacophonous: the full nature of this big work won't be clear until all of it is published. Until then, this first volume is essential reading for anyone interested in late-20th century American poetry.