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The Wesleyan Tradition

Four Decades of American Poetry

Michael Collier

Publication Year: 2010

Since issuing its first volumes in 1959, the Wesleyan poetry program has challenged the reigning aesthetic of the time and profoundly influenced the development of American poetry. One of the country's oldest programs, its greatest achievement has been the publication of early works by yet undiscovered poetry who have since become major awarded Pulitzer and Bollingen prizes, National Book Awards, and many other honors. At a time when other programs are being phased out, Wesleyan takes this opportunity to celebrate its distinguished history and reaffirm its commitment to poetry with publication of The Wesleyan Tradition.

Drawing from some 250 volumes, editor Michael Collier documents the wide-ranging impact of these works. In his introduction, he describes the literary and cultural context of American poetics in more recent decades, tracing the evolution of the Deep Image and Confessional movements of the 50s and 60s, and exploring the emergence of the "prose lyric" style. Although the success of the Wesleyan program has inspired its share of imitators, no other program has had such a fundamental impact. Works by the eighty-six poets included her both document and celebrate that contribution.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press


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pp. c-c

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-xvi

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pp. xvii-xx

From the beginning of this project I set out to compile an anthology that would be more than a mere survey of the Wesleyan University Press poetry program. I wanted the anthology to show how the Wesleyan program since 1959 helped to create fundamental changes not only in American poetry but also in the way poetry has been published. I felt this could...

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pp. xxi-xl

My first encounter with the Wesleyan Poetry program took place more than twenty years ago in Arizona at the main branch of the Phoenix Public Library. Books by James Dickey, James Wright, Louis Simpson, Robert Bly, David Ignatow, Philip Levine, and Donald Justice had already been well-used by the time I began taking them home, for two-week...

First Decade

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pp. 1-104

Second Decade

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pp. 105-150

Third Decade

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pp. 151-232

Fourth Decade

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pp. 233-262

Appendix: Wesleyan Poetry

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pp. 263-270


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pp. 271-274

Author Index

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pp. 275-278

E-ISBN-13: 9780819570949
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819522108

Page Count: 316
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 808346275
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Wesleyan Tradition

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Subject Headings

  • American poetry -- 20th century.
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