In this Book

Radical Vernacular
summary
When Lorine Niedecker died in 1970, the British poet and critic Basil Bunting eulogized her warmly. “In England,” he wrote, “she was, in the estimation of many, the most interesting woman poet America has yet produced.”
     Aesthetically linked with the New York Objectivist poets, Niedecker remained committed to her community in rural Wisconsin despite the grinding poverty that dogged her throughout her life.  Largely self-taught, Niedecker formed attachments through her voracious reading and correspondence, but she also delighted in the disruptive richness of vernacular usage and in the homegrown, improvisational aesthetics that thrived within her immediate world. Niedecker wrote from a highly attenuated concern with biological, cultural, and political sustainability and, in her stridently modernist poems, anticipated many of the most urgent concerns in twenty-first-century poetics. In Radical Vernacular, Elizabeth Willis collects essays by leading poets and scholars that make a major contribution to the study of an important but long overlooked American poet.
     This pathbreaking volume contains essays by seventeen leading scholars: Rae Armantrout, Glenna Breslin, Michael Davidson, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Ruth Jennison, Peter Middleton, Jenny Penberthy, Mary Pinard, Patrick Pritchett, Peter Quartermain, Lisa Robertson, Elizabeth Robinson, Eleni Sikelianos, Jonathan Skinner, Anne Waldman, Eliot Weinberger, and Elizabeth Willis.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. p. xi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xiii-xxiii
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  1. Natural and Political Histories
  2. p. 1
  1. Life by Water: Lorine Niedecker and Critical Regionalism
  2. pp. 3-20
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  1. Niedecker’s Grammar of Flooding
  2. pp. 21-30
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  1. Life Pops from a Music Box Shaped Like a Gun: Dismemberments and Mendingsin Niedecker’s Figures
  2. pp. 31-40
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  1. Particular Attention: Lorine Niedecker’s Natural Histories
  2. pp. 41-59
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  1. Writing Lake Superior
  2. pp. 61-79
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  1. Sounding Process
  2. p. 81
  1. In Phonographic Deep Song: Sounding Niedecker
  2. pp. 83-90
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  1. How to Do Things with Nothing: Lorine Niedecker Sings the Blues
  2. pp. 91-101
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  1. Darkinfested
  2. pp. 103-112
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  1. Music Becomes Story: Lyric and Narrative Patterning in the Work of Lorine Niedecker
  2. pp. 113-130
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  1. Waking into Ideology: Lorine Niedecker’s Experiments in the Syntax of Consciousness
  2. pp. 131-150
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  1. Lorine Niedecker’s “Paean to Place” and Its Reflective Fusions
  2. pp. 151-179
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  1. Niedecker and Company
  2. p. 181
  1. Niedecker/Reznikoff
  2. pp. 183-187
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  1. Lorine Niedecker: The Poet in Her Homeplace
  2. pp. 189-206
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  1. Who Is Sounding? Awakened View, Gaps, Silence, Cage, Niedecker
  2. pp. 207-221
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  1. The Poetics of Affinity: Niedecker, Morris, and the Art of Work
  2. pp. 223-246
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  1. The British Niedecker
  2. pp. 247-270
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  1. Take Oil / and Hum: Niedecker / Bunting
  2. pp. 271-283
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 285-294
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 295-297
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 299-307
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  1. Contemporary North American Poetry Series
  2. p. 309
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