Lewis Warsh

Witness Hannah Weiner

Some precursors to the visual prosody of 'clair-style' writing

The southern New Critics bequeathed to generations of American English students a reductive but serviceable distillation of poetics into versification, fickly defining prosody as according to an obviously conservative set of lyric values. But “the new criticism” was a phrase coined by Joel Spingarn, whose impressionistic depiction of poetry carried little of the taxonomic and finally deadening thrust of “close reading.” Close reading had to do with hearing (the inner voice) and looked at a page only closely enough to take a strictly alphabetic set of cues. This kind of inspection could be quickly learned and reading poetry thereby could be easily tested.

Angel Hair magazine

The sixties and seventies

Photo: Angel Hair cover: Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman at Bolinas
Photo: Angel Hair cover: Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman at Bolinas

When and where the new wave of poetry began: A sampler of writing selected by Jacket editor John Tranter from the 630-page Granary Books anthology of material from the collection of Angel Hair magazine and books edited by Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman between 1966 and 1978.

Introduction — Anne Waldman
Introduction — Lewis Warsh
Jack Anderson, American Flag
John Ashbery, The Hod Carrier

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