Monday, September 27, 2010

Charles Olson: Only One Poem

If you could choose only one poem by Charles Olson—for inclusion in an anthology, or to teach to undergraduates, or for a graduate seminar, or as your personal favorite, or as his very best, or his most significant—which would it be? The Charles Olson Society will sponsor a roundtable discussion at the May 2011 American Literature Association conference in Boston. Six roundtable participants will be invited to offer ten-minute justifications or explications or celebrations of one poem by Charles Olson. Some might argue that Olson’s poems don’t stand alone as well as, say, Frost’s or Stevens’s—that Olson needs to be read in bigger chunks. This roundtable challenges that assumption, and asks us to consider the criteria by which we value an individual poem. What makes it matter? Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Gary Grieve-Carlson at by December 1, 2010. Please include your name, institutional affiliation (if any), e-mail address, and AV needs (if any).

1 comment:

lonsum said...

That's a heckuva challenge. I think his poems DO stand out on their own--some of them, anyway. always liked the one (I believe it's untitled) that begins "the chain of memory is resurrection"...

Letter #23 (Withheld) is a great one, too. Sorry if I don't have that title right. Definitely stands solitary.