American Poetry in Performance
From Walt Whitman to Hip Hop
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Download PDF (66.3 KB)
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Acknowledgments
Download PDF (106.7 KB)
Download PDF (60.1 KB)
Download PDF (180.8 KB)
All the arts are capable of duende, but where it ‹nds its greatest range, naturally, isin music, dance, and spoken poetry, for these arts require a living body to interpretthem, being forms that are born, die, and open their contours against an exactTo study performance is not to study completed forms . . . [but to] become aware ofperformance itself as a contested space, where meanings and desires are generated,...
Chapter 1 - Walt Whitman “Live”: Performing the Public Sphere
Download PDF (322.4 KB)
Others take ‹nish, but the Republic is ever constructive and ever keeps vista.The want for something ‹nished, completed, and technically beautiful willcertainly not be supplied by this writer, as it is by existing esthetic works.Whitman is not well known for having recited his poetry out loud toothers, and is on record as saying that he was “nothing of a reader,” that,...
Chapter 2 - The Ordeal of Vachel Lindsay, or The Cultural Politics of the Spoken Word
Download PDF (312.1 KB)
I would give almost anything to escape forever the reciting and chanting Vachel. . . .My whole heart is set on escaping my old self (completely as I may, to be humanAlthough Vachel Lindsay is not well known today, for a time duringthe ‹rst half of the twentieth century he was one of the most popular po-ets in the United States. Harriet Monroe, who printed Lindsay’s ‹rst poem...
Chapter 3 - “ The Black Man Speaks”: Langston Hughes, the New Negro, and the Sounds of Citizenship
Download PDF (359.6 KB)
Perhaps surprisingly, in light of the sometimes racist imperson-ations/ventriloquizings of earlier white poets, black spoken-word artistscoming of age in the 1920s looked back to both Whitman and Lindsay asmodels for their performance of race and nation and theorizing of the rela-tion between speech and text. Hughes, for one, visited Whitman’s Cam-...
Chapter 4 - Beat Acoustics, Presence, and Resistance
Download PDF (374.8 KB)
The poetry which has been making itself heard here of late is what should be calledstreet poetry. For it amounts to getting the poet out of the inner esthetic sanctumwhere he has too long been contemplating his complicated navel. It amounts togetting poetry back into the street where it once was, out of the classroom, out ofFor me, reading aloud brings the words off the page. My voice is the key...
Chapter 5 - “Rappin’ and Readin’ ”: The Frequencies of the Black Arts
Download PDF (340.7 KB)
The pen is not the main tool of the poet; the poet’s tongue is.A network of black poets of the 1960s and 1970s were as insistent onthe spoken word and its public effects as their precursors had been, even iftheir politics of performance radically differed. Larry Neal, a prime agent ofthe Black Arts movement (what he termed the “aesthetic and spiritual sis-...
Chapter 6 - Slam Nation: Immediacy, Mediatization, and the Counterpublic Sphere
Download PDF (301.1 KB)
Poetry lives on page as words in type, poetry lives on stage as words in body,Perhaps to overcome the charge of trendiness, contemporary artistsof the rap-meets-poetry scene have constructed for themselves a familytree, one with many arcing branches, to authenticate their performativityand af‹rm their identitarian politics. Bob Holman, a slam poet and one of...
Download PDF (98.5 KB)
As Dana Gioia points out in his 2004 book Disappearing Ink, we cur-rently are living through a cultural revolution, one in which “print has lostits primacy in communication”; as he observes, “the most surprising andsigni‹cant development in recent American poetry has been the wide-scaleand unexpected reemergence of popular poetry, a poetry that is predomi-...
Download PDF (325.2 KB)
Download PDF (120.5 KB)
Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2013