Abstract

abstract:

This article traces the development of a poetics of local experience, knowledge, and speech in William Carlos Williams and Gary Snyder. Reading Williams's essays alongside Snyder's journals, letters, interviews, and prose essays, I argue that Snyder's ideas about language and place are deeply and intricately related to Williams's modernist dedication to the problem of living together in place—of cultivating through creative work a convivial local culture. This communal orientation, while implicit in Williams's ideas about the generosity of art, is developed in Snyder's ecological reckoning with the loss of biological and cultural diversity and his embrace of what I call a poetics of conviviality and care.

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