116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

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

Session Chair: 
Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside
Session 2: Friday 3:20 pm – 4:50 pm
Miller Hall 103


  1. Cheri Langdell, East Los Angeles College
    Adrienne Rich’s poetic influence extends beyond the scope of her oeuvre into—and beyond—the fields of gender and women’s studies. Touching on the central themes and revolutionary transformations driving her 62 years of published poetry presented in the Collected Poems, I shall show how these factors contribute to critical evaluations of her poetry. I will also discuss Rankine’s incisive introduction which emphasizes Rich’s literary lineage from Rilke through Baldwin.
  2. Edward Ferrari, California State University San Bernardino
    This essay examines the postwar poetry of Lorine Niedecker (who was partially sighted), exploring in particular how the poems “For Paul” and “Wintergreen Ridge” deconstruct the ocularcentric tradition of Objectivism not only through their content, but also by bodying forth an alternative “nystagmic” poetics.
  3. James McCorkle, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    This paper explores several of Elizabeth Bishop’s poems, “Trouvée,” (with its invocatory “Oh”), “Little Exercise” (with its apostrophic “Think”), and “Pink Dog” (the performative act of naming), and their use of apostrophe. While these poems illustrate the fictive applications of the apostrophe found in romantic and modernist poems, Paul Alpers argues that the Renaissance and metaphysical poets—those Bishop most revered—saw in the apostrophe an empirical, social mode of address, found in “Pink Dog" but more fully in “Under the Window: Ouro Prêto.”
  4. Patrick Milian, University of Washington
    Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood incorporates the hybridized means of representation and expression afforded by radio toward a pre-discursive register of integrated word and sound. I explore the various semiotic operations at work in Thomas’ “play for voices” in order to describe their combination as indicative of a social and spiritual mission of unification and synthesis.
Session Cancelled: