I have a new note out at The Explicator [free epub / permalink] on the section of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen that engages with Robert Lowell’s Life Studies. My note, “Claudia Rankine and Robert Lowell, Again,” supplements a PMLA article by Kamran Javadizadeh by pointing to a little-known or unknown prior version of the Citizen section, published in the poetry magazine AGNI. I provide a full collation of the early publication with Citizen’s text.
This is the first scholarly output from the contemporary half of my current book project, Unheard Melodies. My bookbrings together fourteenth- and twenty-first-century poetics.
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. Erkenwaldand other alliterative poems anticipate the linkage, as if these distant poems were expecting us all along.