Transporting the Reading Self: Spahr’s _Response_ to Subjectivity

As my situation of Juliana Spahr alongside the other poets of my dissertation (namely John Cage, Jackson Mac Low, Robert Duncan, and even Denise Levertov) suggests, Spahr is writing both in and from a tradition of experimental poetry that has long been preoccupied with the eradication of the self. But, owing to the fact thatContinue reading “Transporting the Reading Self: Spahr’s _Response_ to Subjectivity”

Reading Against Juliana Spahr: _Response_ as Temporary Autonomous Zone

I begin my section of plateaus on feminist poetics with Response (1996), the first collection of poetry by the now central experimental poet, Juliana Spahr. I begin with Spahr because I see in her work a clear intersection with Levertov’s: a refusal to entirely deny her subjectivity, and a reliance on that subjective point-of-view toContinue reading “Reading Against Juliana Spahr: _Response_ as Temporary Autonomous Zone”

“At the Political Front”: Affirming Levertov’s Poetics of Witness

“I have tended to read Denise Levertov for the news, thinking of her, more than any other American poet, as a reporter or witness at the political front.” – Patricia Hampl “A Witness of Our Time” 167 I would like to end my section on Levertov with a moment of affirmation, seeking finally to reclaimContinue reading ““At the Political Front”: Affirming Levertov’s Poetics of Witness”

“It doesn’t cohere”: Read-ing Levertov as Anarchist

Of course, my very inclusion of Denise Levertov in this project, especially in this section alongside the self-professed anarchists John Cage, Jackson Mac Low, and Robert Duncan, is both contentious and strange, and requires, I should think, some explanation. It is probably inarguable that Levertov was never an anarchist, although she was certainly an ardentContinue reading ““It doesn’t cohere”: Read-ing Levertov as Anarchist”

“I multitude:” The Self in Levertov’s Poetry

As I noted in my previous plateau, Denise Levertov’s conception of a poetic writing-self behind her poetry is integral to both the aesthetic and political dimensions of her work. In terms of a postanarchist reading practice, Levertov’s reliance on a seemingly monadic idea of the authorial self is one that, in many ways, runs counterContinue reading ““I multitude:” The Self in Levertov’s Poetry”