Experimental Poetics and Cultural Displacement
Edited by Carrie Noland and Barrett Watten

Published by Palgrave Macmillan
288 pages / $90.00 – Hardcover (0-230-61629-1)

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Diasporic Avant-Gardes draws into dialogue two differing traditions of poetic practice: the diasporic and the avant-garde. This interdisciplinary collection examines the unacknowledged affinities (and crucial differences) between avant-garde and diasporic formal strategies and social formations. The essays foreground the creation of experimental forms and investigate the specific contexts of cultural displacement and language use that inform their poetics.

Praise for Diasporic Avant-Gardes

“This is an important, indeed a crucial project. It will constitute a formative contribution to the discussion of an expanded field of contemporary poetics. The claim the essays make, quite properly, amounts less to a positivity than a negative solidarity that respects the radical particularity of writers and/or movements while noticing their common refusal of traditional forms and identity politics. The aim in bringing these essays together is to create dialogues across difference that expose, nonetheless, important strategic similarities among a variety of radical experimental writings.” Adalaide Morris, John C. Gerber Professor of English, University of Iowa

“Diasporic Avant Gardes opens up innovative ways of reading diasporic poetic texts in terms of avant garde experimentation and goes even further to suggest that avant gardes need to be read diasporically. It demonstrates convincingly the importance of avant garde negation to the earliest poetic experiments in the diaspora as well as the close relation of avant garde movements to the dislocations of European colonization and global displacement. The result is a superb collection of essays that imaginatively merges the experimental and the theoretical, a globalized imagination and critical daring.” J. Michael Dash, Professor of French, New York University

“This is an important book, among the best critical anthologies I’ve read in recent years. It is welcome proof that border crossing, of any kind, is a creative act. In rich, varied ways the contributors find form and feeling in what is articulated along the border lines. Most impressively, this volume itself, like the subject it describes, functions as a contact zone, where innovation as much as alienation perform their dizzying, difficult dance.” Amitava Kumar, author of Passport Photos

“The thirteen splendid essays collected in this volume delineate how surprising and unexpected affinities link together diasporic and avant-garde poetry: art forms that have emerged from very different social locations and seem to have incommensurable and irreconcilable goals. Noland and Watten’s generative collection enables us to see that diasporic and avant garde poets alike view domination, displacement, and dispersal as central aspects of modernity, that both groups resort to formal experimentation in response to social instability. By comparing and contrasting the similar (although not identical) ways that these poets artfully render the foreign as familiar and the familiar as foreign, Diasporic Avant Gardes shows how the people of the world can be strangely united by the very things that seem to divide us.” George Lipsitz, author of Footsteps in the Dark and Time Passages

Table of contents

* Introduction–Carrie Noland and Barrett Watten
* Aimé Césaire and the Syntax of Influence–Brent Edwards
* Alan Sondheim’s Internet Diaspora–Maria Damon
* Remediation and Diaspora: Kamau Brathwaite’s Video-Style–Carrie Noland
* Re-opening a Poetics of Re-openings (a.k.a. ‘Naked Strategic Partners’)–Rodrigo Toscano
* On the Outskirts of Form: Cosmopoetics in the Shadow of NAFTA–Michael Davidson
* Franco Luambo Makiadi’s Universalism and Avant-Garde Particularity–Barrett Watten
* ah noh musik dat: Speech in the Discourse of Nationalism–Mark McMorris
* On the Nomadic Circulation of Contemporary Poetics Between Europe, North America, and the Maghreb–Pierre Joris
* Diaspora and the Avant-Garde in Contemporary Black British Poetry–Lauri Ramey
* Something Nation: Radical Spaces of Performance in Linton Kwesi Johnson and cris cheek–Carla Harryman
* From Spanglish to Glossolalia: Edwin Torres’s Nuyo-Futurist Utopia–Urayoán Noel
* From Bass Cathedral–Nathaniel Mackey
* From Vaduz [Performance Poem]–Bernard Heidsieck

Author Bios

Carrie Noland is a Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Poetry at Stake: Lyric Aesthetics and the Challenge of Technology and Agency and Embodiment: Performing Gestures/Producing Culture.

Barrett Watten is a Professor of English at Wayne State University. He is a language-centered poet and critic of modernist and postmodern cultures and his study, The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics, received the René Wellek Prize in 2004. He is the author of the poetry collections Frame: 1971-1990, Bad History, and Progress/Under Erasure.

For further information, contact the publishers or
Barrett Watten
Carrie Noland

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