Kenning Editions is proud to announce the publication of a major new anthology, edited by Kevin Killian and David Brazil–THE KENNING ANTHOLOGY OF POETS THEATER: 1945-1985.
With new interest in poetry as a performative art, and with prewar experiments much in mind, the young poets of postwar America infused the stage with the rhythms and shocks of their poetry. These energies manifested themselves all at once, and through the decades have continued to grow and mutate, innovating a form of writing that defies boundaries of genre. THE KENNING ANTHOLOGY OF POETS THEATER: 1945-1985 documents the emergence, growth, and varied fortunes of the form over decades of American literary history, with a focus on key regional movements. The largest and most comprehensive anthology of its kind yet assembled, the volume collects classics, long out of print rarities and texts from unpublished manuscripts. Copiously annotated, it will be an indispensable reference for students of postwar American poetry and avant garde theater. Included are works by Jack Spicer, John Ashbery, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, Amiri Baraka, Hannah Weiner, Barbara Guest, Sonia Sanchez, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Carla Harryman, Charles Bernstein, Leslie Scalapino, Kathy Acker, and many others. A unique feature of the book is its editors’ notes even on works omitted but falling within the anthology’s purview, including Pedro Pietri’s The Masses Are Asses and Jessica Hagedorn’s Tenement Lover. Erudite yet highly readable, the plays and prefatory matter offer a highly entertaining glimpse of the ways in which poets have used the theater to widen their audience, develop new techniques, or negotiate their aesthetic community’s precepts and desires. In the process, some of the most mature and progressive work within and about the theater was produced, and is at last gathered in one place.
“Kevin Killian and David Brazil have done a great service…an invaluable guide not just to poets theater, but to the ins and outs of the entire poetry world of the four decades in question.”–Mac Wellman in BOMB
Read guest-bloggers on poets theater: Aldon Nielsen on Lorenzo Thomas; Laura Elrick and Rodrigo Toscano on Hannah Weiner; Peter O’Leary on Robert Duncan; David Hadbawnik on Diane di Prima; Don Share on V.R. “Bunny” Lang; and notes on Pedro Pietri, Steve Benson, Jack Spicer, Fiona Templeton, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.