ISBN: 9780976736455 (2010)
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. From the multidisciplinary nexus of Black Mountain, to the Harvard-based Cambridge Poets Theatre, to the West Coast Beats and San Francisco Renaissance, 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kind yet assembled, the volume collects classics of poets theater as well as rarities long out of print and texts from unpublished manuscripts and archives. It will be an indispensable reference for students of postwar American poetry and avant-garde theater.
Among the poets featured in THE KENNING ANTHOLOGY OF POETS THEATER are Charles Olson, John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, Russell Atkins, Gregory Corso, Helen Adam, Michael McClure, James Broughton, Kenneth Koch, Jackson Mac Low, Lorenzo Thomas, Anne Waldman, ruth weiss, Ron Padgett, Hannah Weiner, Lew Welch, Sonia Sanchez, Joe Brainard, Bruce Andrews, Keith Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop, Bob Holman and Bob Rosenthal, Steve Benson, Ted Greenwald, Carla Harryman, Ntozake Shange, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, Robert Grenier, Alan Bernheimer, Charles Bernstein, Stephen Rodefer, Fiona Templeton, Kenward Elmslie, and Leslie Scalapino. Also included are previously unpublished plays by Jack Spicer, V.R. “Bunny” Lang, James Schuyler, Robert Duncan, Madeline Gleason, Diane di Prima, Barbara Guest, James Keilty, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Johanna Drucker, and Nada Gordon. The editors provide informative and provocative prefatory matter, including extensive notes on each play, as well as several that fall within the purview of the book but, for one reason or another, were omitted, as with Pedro Pietri’s The Masses Are Asses or Jessica Hagedorn’s Tenement Lover. Rounding out the book are contemporary classics: LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman and Kathy Acker’s The Birth of the Poet.