PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog
Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This item is taken from PN Review 161, Volume 31 Number 3, January - February 2005.

Letter from Ralph Maud
Allen's Collaborations

Sir:

The element missing from your obituary of Donald Allen (PNR 160) is his skill and modesty as a collaborator. His urge to establish a consensus about what was new and valuable, beginning with The New American Poetry 1945-1960 , led him to enlist Robert Creeley as co-editor of New American Story (1965) and New Writing in the USA (1967), and Warren Tallman as co-editor of The Poetics of the New American Poetry (1973). And who was the collaborator (unnamed) for The New American Poetry 1945-1960 itself? This is revealed in a recent book Poet to Publisher (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2003) as none other than Charles Olson, who was consulted in a letter of 9 September 1959 about the grouping of the poets to be included in the anthology. Allen proposed that the first two categories would be '(1) older generation; (2) continuers: Rexroth, Dahlberg, Kukofsky, Patchen (do you think?)' (p.58). Olson replied: 'I wldn't myself add either of those two units: either the "aunties" or the grandpas' (p.59). Olson wanted Allen to reveal the watershed of 1948-50 as a real break: 'don't drag in those other gooks of the past & present solely because they hang around (don't die!' (p.61). The anthology ought to be 'the decisive defining factor, that American writing went into a new gear, which is what is is now running on'. And, as we know, this is what Allen's anthology became: not concerned with developments, but with poetry as though it had never happened before. That there were more discussions on this and other matters, and that Donald Allen went on to get into print Olson's The Distances with Grover Press (1960) and a total of nine other titles of Olson's under his own Four Seasons imprint is the further story told by their exchange of letters in Poet to Publisher .

RALPH MAUD
Vancouver

This item is taken from PN Review 161, Volume 31 Number 3, January - February 2005.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image