Yale Working Group in Contemporary Poetry

Meeting Minutes: Peter Gizzi

Posted in WGCP Communications by beineckepoetry on November 15, 2009

The Working Group in Contemporary Poetics met on Friday November 6 to discuss the poetry of Peter Gizzi, who was able to join our conversation that day. The Meeting Minutes have been posted tot he WGCP Minutes Archive: WGCP Minutes–Gizzi Visit, 11-6-09

In response to the opening question about what is “Americanness” in terms of his interest in an American vernacular and poetric tradition, Gizzi described that the American landscape and the nation’s rhetoric or forms of address and speech patterns are tied together. Part of this, he explained, comes from his understanding of his parent’s and grandparent’s immigrant and working class background. Thus, the question of place and identity are not settled questions. His work, and the work he is drawn to investigate, aesthetic values which are braided with moral and political values.  In terms of rhetoric, language is largely performative and therefore brings certain conditions into being.  Poetic language is not strictly fictional, nor is it reportage. It composes, presents, and represents the world as he encounters it. The poetic text in a sense ratifies this encounter and fashions it into a communicable reality that readers can then take part in. Read the Meeting Minutes in full here: WGCP Minutes–Gizzi Visit, 11-6-09

Image: The Watts Towers, featured on the cover of The Outernationale by Peter Gizzi

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