CFP: Poetry Communities and the Individual Talent

April 6-7, 2012 at Penn

Twentieth-century poetry is often taught through the lens of poetry communities: Imagists, Black Mountain, Language Poetry, etc. These poetry communities, for better or worse, also shape how scholars think about and write about poets and poetry in their research. Some poets are studied mainly to demonstrate their membership in a school or movement; others are treated in isolation to exaggerate their influence. Recent attempts to bridge these divergent approaches include focuses on friendships, collaborations, careers, and reception. This conference seeks papers that think about poets and poetry in given communities. Possible topics include:

- how schools and movements are identified
- poetry friendships and collaborations
- how publishers, editors, scholars, and the public create poetry communities
- editing and the production/marketing of careers
- the role of reception in entrenching or altering reputations
- identity politics and claims to representation
- local, national, and transnational communities
- eccentrics, loners, and individualists
- manifestos and group identity
- the relationship between poems and statements of poetics
- communities of reception
- alternative communities
- validity (or not) of certain community designations or labels

Please submit an abstract of 250 words and a brief CV to by October 15, 2011. Chosen speakers will be placed on panels and allotted 15-20 minutes to present their work. Selected papers will have the opportunity to be published in Jacket2. Please email Jonathan Fedors or Katie L. Price at the conference email if you have any questions or concerns.

Jonathan Fedors and Katie L. Price
Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
contact email: