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 book brings together fourteenth- and twenty-first-century poetics.

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.