Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

Places in the Making maps a range of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American poets who have used language to evoke the world at various scales. Distinct from related traditions including landscape poetry, nature...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

This project has been made in many places and helped by many makers. At the University of Virginia it was advised by Eric Lott, Jahan Ramazani, and Jennifer Wicke and helped by conversations with Stephen...

Permissions

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pp. xix-xx

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Introduction: Place and Position in American Poetry

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pp. 1-22

Two decades ago, on a quiet summer day, I pulled John Ashbery’s Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975) from the shelves of the Geneva Free Library, in my birthplace and hometown of Geneva, New York. Walking...

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Part 1. Prospects

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pp. 23-26

For almost as long as humans have lived among mountains, ascending the nearest summit has suggested a possible route to a sense of place. The ancient Greeks looked to Athos, Helicon, and Olympus for aesthetic...

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1. Modernism on the Mountaintop

Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams

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pp. 27-41

If a prevailing version of nineteenth-century American literary history positions Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson as competing models for poets to come, then a twentieth-century iteration of that same narrative might...

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2. Pacific Counterpoints

Robinson Jeffers, Pablo Neruda

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pp. 42-58

Does modernism have a geography? If so, it would seem distinctly transatlantic, connecting western European capitals with the metropolitan corridor of the United States and various Caribbean and Latin American urban...

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3. Projective vs. Reflective Verse

Charles Olson, Lorine Niedecker

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pp. 59-76

As M. H. Abrams argued, romanticism prompted a shift from “the mirror held up to nature” (23) to “a lamp projecting light” (60). If modernism continued in this vein, then place making may return us to the mirror, if not...

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Part 2. Translocalities

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pp. 77-80

While some lives are marked by constant stasis and others by perpetual motion, most of us dwell somewhere in between stillness and movement: emerging, developing, continuing, leaving, returning, and disappearing. Those...

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4. Versions of Prague

Allen Ginsberg, Roque Dalton

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pp. 81-97

Poetry, a mobile thing, is uniquely poised among the literary arts to speak to the condition of translocality by virtue of its flexibility and portability. Unlike essays, novels, and plays, many poems can be memorized with relative...

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5. The Cosmic Caribbean

Kamau Brathwaite, Ernesto Cardenal

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pp. 98-115

Mobility happens at different speeds and scales, and so does dwelling. Like the traveler, the settler and the native navigate through space and time. One way to think dwelling comes through the framework of terrestrial position. But on...

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6. Indigenous Claims

Gary Snyder, Joy Harjo

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pp. 116-134

As rural standard bearers, Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder (born 1930) have helped enrich discourses of dwelling in the United States over the last half century. For Willard Spiegelman, since these two poets are “so often at work...

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Part 3. Zones

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pp. 135-138

Whether poised at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing Korea from itself, or in Free Trade Zones (FTZs) fueling the engine of global capitalism, any attempt to contend with cultural geography would do well to reckon with the...

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7. From Aztlán

Gloria Anzaldúa, Jimmy Santiago Baca

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pp. 139-154

Although the United States expropriated the northern half of Mexico’s territory over 150 years ago, a poetics countering this annexation was slow to emerge in the English language. Informed by Native American orature and...

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8. Remilitarized Poems

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Myung Mi Kim

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pp. 155-173

The Korean War did not end in 1953; it merely went on an extended hiatus. Over sixty years later, the armistice has grown increasingly tenuous, with the northern and southern halves of the peninsula growing ever more distinct...

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9. Forget Your Pastoral

Haunani-Kay Trask, Craig Santos Perez

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pp. 174-194

In 1925, when Margaret Mead traveled to the Pacific Basin to conduct anthropological research for Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilization (1928), she set up a deliberate binary...

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Coda: Look Through to Somewhere

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pp. 195-200

Place making represents an important paradigm in American poetics, but many poets considered in these pages do not write exclusively or even consistently in this mode. Take, for example, Gary Snyder’s “Straits of...

Notes

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pp. 201-214

Works Cited

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pp. 215-240

Index

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pp. 241-266