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Authors | Marjorie Perloff

Marjorie Perloff recently retired from the Sadie D. Patek Chair in the Humanities at Stanford University. She is Florence R. Scott Professor Emerita at the University of Southern California. Among her many books on modernist and postmodernist poetries are The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage (1981), The Futurist Moment (1986), Radical Artifice (1992), Wittgenstein’s Ladder (1996), and, most recently, Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century (2010).

Articles on Amodern by Marjorie Perloff


Some Questions of Definition

In this response-essay, I suggest that the editors and contributors have done a superb job defining and analyzing the technology of the poetry series – its collection, organization, recording, digitization, archiving, and reception. At the same time, I argue that the aesthetic component of the poetry series has not received the same attention as has its production. I then distinguish between two groups of poets – the performers, who must be heard as well as read, and the “writerly” poets whose readings are ancillary to their texts rather than wholly integral. I also discuss the relation of individual to group readings and series, raising questions of value and poetic pleasure.