115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mid-Twentieth Century Poetry I (co-sponsored by the Robert Lowell Society)

Session Chair: 
Lauren Cardon, University of Alabama
Session 5: Saturday 8:15 – 9:45 am
Henry 104


  1. Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside
    This paper describes Lowell's prose autobiography project, which he worked on for three years in the mid-1950s and then abandoned. Seventeen of its twenty chapters have not yet seen print. I will conclude by reading aloud its unpublished final chapter.
  2. Leo Dunsker, University of California, Berkeley
    Frank Stanford’s poetry garnered praise from John Berryman, Allen Ginsberg, and others within his lifetime, but it has failed following his death to attract enduring critical attention. Stanford’s poetry represents the mid-century agrarian US South as a zone of uneven development in which the twin threats of social and natural violence jar with ideas of culture and civilization; it is from this barbaric interstice that the poetry lights out in search of new conditions of imaginative experience.
  3. Arsevi Seyran, Stony Brook University
    This talk will address how Negative Capability can be interpreted and applied to Elizabeth Bishop’s work, examining how she distilled her observations into a type of restrained art where the poet herself is absent or peripheral at most, but “gusto” and unresolved glimpses of truth preside.
  4. James McCorkle, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    Using Elizabeth Bishop's 1950 review of Gwendolyn Brooks' Annie Allen and Bishop’s 1961 letter to Robert Lowell as bookend documents, I explore the poetics of unease, one of omission and elision, in the work of Bishop and Brooks in this period marked by the cold war and the civil rights movement.
Session Cancelled: