CFP: Reassessing Language Poetry: Thirty Years After The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book

PAMLA 2014 Conference //  Riverside, CA // Oct. 31-Nov.2


First published in February of 1984, The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book collected essays, excerpts, and experiments from the first three years (1978-81) of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E literary magazine. At the time, the book represented a manifesto of sorts for Language poetry; as editors Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein explained, the collection was in large part animated by “our sense that the project of poetry does not involve turning language into a commodity for consumption; instead, it involves repossessing the sign through close attention to, and active participation in, its production.” Thirty years later, Language poetry has become one of (if not the) dominant influences on vanguard poetics in America, and The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book has itself become a kind of “alpha point” for studies of poets ranging from Lyn Hejinian and Steve McCaffrey to Ron Silliman and Rae Armantrout.

LANGUAGE Book Cover

This panel seeks papers that (re)consider the evolution of Language poetry in the thirty years since The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book was initially published. We welcome proposals that address any aspect of this evolution, including:

  • Specific Language poets or texts
  • Relationships between various poets and/or texts
  • General themes and motifs in Language poetry
  • Issues related to Language poetics
  • The political/social dimension of Language writing

This list is by no means exhaustive. Language poetry has had a wide influence on contemporary poetics over the past three decades, and this session seeks to honor that influence by bringing together a host of approaches to this diverse body of writing. Proposals on any topics related to Language poetry and poetics are equally welcome.

Submission Deadline: May 15

Please submit your proposal via the PAMLA website: http://www.pamla.org/2014

If you have any questions about this session, please contact Tom Jesse at t.jesse@tcu.edu

A .PDF version of this CFP is available here.

[Image via Amazon.com]

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