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Industrial Poetics

Demo Tracks for a Mobile Culture

Joe Amato

Publication Year: 2006

Through a dizzying array of references to subjects ranging from engineering to poetry, on-the-job experiences in academia and industry, conflicts between working-class and intellectual labor, the privatization of universities, and the contradictions of the modern environment, Joe Amato’s Industrial Poetics mounts a boisterous call for poetry communities to be less invested in artistic self-absorption and more concerned about social responsibility. s Amato focuses on the challenges faced by American poets in creating a poetry that speaks to a public engineered into complacency by those industrial technologies, practices, and patterns of thought that we cannot seem to do without, he brings readers face to face with the conflicting realities of U.S. intellectual, academic, and poetic culture.Formally adventurous and rhetorically lively, Industrial Poetics is best compared with the intellectually exploratory, speculative, risky, polemical work of other contemporary poet-critics including Kathleen Fraser, Joan Retallack, Bruce Andrews, Susan Howe, and Allen Grossman. Amato uses an exhilarating range of structural and rhetorical strategies: conventionally developed argument, abruptly juxtaposed aphorisms, personal narrative, manifesto-like polemic, and documentary reportage. With a critic’s sharply analytical mind, a poet’s verve, and a working-class intellectual’s sense of social justice, Amato addresses the many nonliterary institutions and environments in which poetry is inextricably embedded. By connecting poetry to industry in a lively demonstration against the platitudes and habitudes of the twentieth century, Amato argues for a reenergized and socially forceful poetics---an industrial poetics, rough edges and all. Jed Rasula writes, “I can’t say I pay much attention to talk radio, but this is what I imagine it might be like if the deejay were really smart, enviably well read, yet somehow retained the snarling moxie of the am format.”

Published by: University of Iowa Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. ix-

~Construction Note*

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pp. xi-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xv

As of this writing, literature would seem to persist in the public domain as a sacred cow, venerated or offered up for slaughter as the occasion warrants. Within academe and largely under the auspices of cultural studies, scholars have meanwhile sought to discern a broader social context for the reception and interpretation of literature. This latter effort, while laudable for having...

How to Tell the Difference between Life and Art: A Grant Proposal (Take 1)

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pp. 1-5

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Track 1. Industrial Poetics: A Chautauqua Multiplex in Fits and Starts

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pp. 7-71

Calling to mind a Rube Goldberg contraption, both anchored to the real and, within this apparently stable, if adjustive, scaffold, sustaining all manner of motion and transformation. Perhaps the Earth as it tracks around the Sun, perhaps this essay as it spins around the block, tethered by touch and willingness, around...

Track 2. Technical Ex-Communication: How a Former Professional Engineer Becomes a Former English Professor

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pp. 73-103

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Track 3. Labor, Manufacturing, Workplace, Community: Four Conclusions in Search of an Ending

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pp. 105-159

Pound’s characteristically matter-of-fact counsel, published in 1934, will, I imagine, force a knowing smile even in today’s market-weary and Pound-leery scribes. Money, it would seem, has everything and nothing to do with literary quality (whatever that is). On the one hand, to the extent that writers produce shabby work for profit or as a consequence of material...

Notes

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pp. 161-178

Bibliography

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pp. 179-200

Index

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pp. 201-206


E-ISBN-13: 9781587297045
E-ISBN-10: 1587297043
Print-ISBN-13: 9781587295010
Print-ISBN-10: 1587295016

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2006

Edition: cloth
Series Title: Contemp North American Poetry