alliterative verse / avant-garde

I have a new curated collection of poems, premodern and contemporary, up at Poetry Foundation. Come for the Anne Carson; stay for the Piers Plowman. This was a lot of fun to pull together. It is inspired by my current book project, which likewise juxtaposes premodern and avant-garde contemporary poetry, but there are many poems in the collection not discussed in the book (and vice versa).

From the introduction:

So many of the poems brought together here, premodern and contemporary, travel that circuit between paying rent and creating art: the demands of the aesthetic economy balanced uneasily against the demands of the economy-economy. The 20th- and 21st-century poems in this collection broach a transtemporal communication through which readers can receive “a modern letter sent from antiquity” (Willis, “Tiptoe Lightning”). Certain time-bending passages in St. Erkenwald and other alliterative poems anticipate the linkage, as if these distant poems were expecting us all along.

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