This landmark book, together with its accompanying CD, captures the heady excitement of the vibrant, irreverent poetry scene of New York's Lower East Side in the 1960s. Drawing from personal interviews with many of the participants, from unpublished letters, and from rare sound recordings, Daniel Kane brings together for the first time the people, political events, and poetic roots that coalesced into a highly influential community. From the poetry-reading venues of the early sixties, such as those at the Les Deux Mégots and Le Metro coffeehouses to The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, a vital forum for poets to this day, Kane traces the history of this literary renaissance, showing how it was born from a culture of publicly performed poetry. The Lower East Side in the sixties proved foundational in American verse culture, a defining era for the artistic and political avant-garde.
The voices and works of John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, Charles Bernstein, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Kenneth Koch, Bernadette Mayer, Ron Padgett, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Frank O'Hara, and many others enliven these pages, and the thirty five-track CD includes recordings of several of the poets reading from their work in the sixties and seventies. The Lower East Side's cafes, coffeehouses, and salons brought together poets of various aesthetic sensibilities, including writers associated with the so-called New York School, Beats, Black Mountain, Deep Image, San Francisco Renaissance, Umbra, and others. Kane shows that the significance for literary history of this loosely defined community of poets and artists lies in part in its reclaiming an orally centered poetic tradition, adapted specifically to open up the possibilities for an aesthetically daring, playful poetics and a politics of joy and resistance.
1. Community through Poetry
2. Oral Poetics on the Lower East Side
3. The Aesthetics of the Little
4. The Poetry Project at St. Mark's
5. Anne Waldman, The World, and the Early Years at the Poetry Project
6. Bernadette Mayer and "Language" in the Poetry Project
Epilogue: Bob Holman, the Poetry Project, and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe: "I Learned That Poetry Could Be about Community Here"
Acknowledgments of Permissions
CD Playlist: http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9278/9278.playlist.php
Daniel Kane is Lecturer in the School of English and American Studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He has had poems, interviews, and essays published in Exquisite Corpse, The Denver Quarterly, TriQuarterly, The Hat, and other publications.
“Kane’s book meticulously recovers the history of an artistic avant-garde.”—Brian Jackson Anq: American Notes & Queries
"The literary scene of the Lower East Side was explosive--politically, artistically, and socially. In All Poets Welcome
Daniel Kane captures the excitement and vitality of this foundational moment in American poetry. This book is a breakthrough examination of a period that will be rich ground for many studies to come." —Peter Gizzi, author of Artificial Heart
"All Poets Welcome
opens a door to previously undocumented landscapes of New York City—the history, aesthetics, and deep gossip bubbling out of the Lower East Side’s poetry community during the 1960s and beyond. Daniel Kane provides a crucial and fascinating first view of this mid-century renaissance whose influences are abundantly evident in the avant-garde practices of American poetry today. Illuminating, well researched, and resonating with the voices of the key players, this book is a scholarly and entertaining chronicle of the time."—Lisa Jarnot, co-editor of An Anthology of New (American) Poets
and author of a forthcoming biography of Robert Duncan