Amy Catanzano

What is at stake in/when defining poetry?

When new acquaintances ask what I study, I often tell them, “poetry that doesn’t look like poetry.” Though my response might seem glib, the sentiment is sincere: I find myself drawn to poetry that unshackles that same term from its traditional denotation. The field of modern and contemporary poetry is full of language that doesn't behave: fixed forms are abandoned for open fields, words are rendered illegible, standardized grammar is disrupted, letters stray from counterparts that would give them meaning, the page is replaced by the screen, and nonsemantic sounds fill basement bars. So why do we still call it poetry? — Katie L. Price

Respondents: Amy Catanzano, Jacob Edmond, Bob Perelman, Brian M. Reed 

Magical correspondences, part 1 of 6

Image by Andrew Joron of eclipsed sun-images filtered through trees, casting zer
Image by Andrew Joron of eclipsed sun-images filtered through trees, casting zeros and almost-zeros on nearby objects.

What follows is part one of six written exchanges between me and Andrew Joron about poetry and science in 2012. Joron’s creative and critical work have been highly influential to me. When I contacted him after The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog ran an article,“From the Golden Age of San Francisco Science-Fiction Poetry to the New Age of Quantum Poetics,”about our shared interest in poetry and science, he generously responded to my poetry and speculative essays on quantum poetics published by Jerome Rothenberg on his blog, Poems and Poetics. Joron and I have decided to present our conversation here for Jacket2. 

See also parts two, three, four, five, and six.

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