Saturday, 22 September 2012


"Hybridity"—the literary concept du jour—is explored in a set of double, and sometimes duelling, reviews by Peter Riley and Anthony Howell.  Riley has my vote:
"The field of American poetry is understood as a set of categories. Everything is determined by pressure from depersonalised and numinous blocs, called Black Mountain, Beat, San Francisco Renaissance, New York School (those being four categories chosen by Allen to subdivide his anthology), Confessionalist, Mainstream, New Formalism, Language Poetry, Objectivism and so on and so on. There are no people in here! just collectivised results of former activity that can be shifted around in relationship to each other. Poets do get named of course, but like the groupings they tend to get identified by a singular summary tag. It is detached and clinical: there seems not to be, and never to have been, any possibility of being overwhelmed by an individual act of poetry."
[Photograph: "Hybrid Creatures" by Francesco Sambo]

1 comment:

kaz connelly said...

exactly! i really am looking forward to yr new book . ..