5 to 7pm
Towner Fellows Lounge
Totaling the Damage: Revolutionary Ambition in Post-2008 American Poetry
Jennifer Ashton, University of Illinois at Chicago
For American poets in the generation born roughly between 1960 and 1980 who think of themselves both as aesthetically ambitious and ambitiously anticapitalist, the state of affairs they have been confronted with raises a question: What should the revolutionary poet be doing, when crisis - whether it be economic, social, environmental, or for that matter, aesthetic – appears increasingly frequent, inevitable, and irreversible? Or to ask the question in a slightly different form: What poetic forms do these conditions of crisis seem to require? One answer has been to define the terms in which lyric might once more become a viable revolutionary form despite its longstanding association with individual self-expression and, by extension, with the ideology of the free market. The form that answer takes is Ben Lerner’s 10:04: A Novel.
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