Yale Working Group in Contemporary Poetry

Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony

Posted in Announcements, Events, Resources, WGCP Communications by beineckepoetry on February 18, 2010

WGCP will meet on Friday, February 26, 3-5pm, in WHC 116, to discuss Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony, The United States 1885-1890 (Recitative), published in 1934. All are welcome.

Photocopies will be available for pick-up by 2pm February 19 in the WGCP box near the reception desk at the WHC.

Charles Reznikoff is an important American Objectivist poet, one of the few we’ve not yet read together as a group. Testimony is a powerful, sometimes disturbing, rewriting of legal documents Reznikoff sifted through while working for a law book company; it is not light reading. Our conversation will take as its primary point of departure (and analysis) the first volume of Testimony; those poems present the facts in cases stretching from 1885 to 1890. We may wish to discuss Reznikoff’s work in relation to the questions of collage, editing, and serialization raised during our discussion with K. Waldrop (meeting minutes). Short interviews and articles about the context, reception, and influence of this work (and other books by Reznikoff) are linked below.

SHORT BIO, EXCERPTS OF INTERVIEWS, EXCERPTS OF DAVIDSON ESSAY (“On Testimony” by M. DAVIDSON from Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and the Material Word, Berkeley: University of California, 1997)




Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on February 12, 2010

The “Language Beyond Language” session scheduled for February 12 has been canceled. When it is rescheduled, the new date will be posted here and announced on the WGCP List.

Language Beyond Language

Posted in Announcements, Events, Sponsors, WGCP Communications by beineckepoetry on February 2, 2010

On February 12 at 3pm, the WGCP will meet in room 38 at Beinecke Library with Curator Tim Young to discuss Russian Zaum poetry and what Young has called the “pre- and quasi verbal” in books by poets and artists. Young will show an exhibition of rare Zaum books and related materials from the Beinecke Library’s Modern Books and Manuscripts Collection. Information about visiting the Beiencke Library: Beinecke Seminar Room Guidelines.

Examples of Zaum poetry, including Russian and English sound recordings, can be found online in the Getty Center’s outstanding exhibition, “Tango with Cows: Book Art of the Russian Avant-Garde, 1910-1917” curated by Nancy Perloff.

Additional readings:

From Jabberwocky to Lettrism, by Eugène Jolas

To Destroy Language by Craig Dworkin

Image: Cover of Tango with Cows: Ferro-Concrete Poems (Tango s korovami: Zhelezobetonnye poemy) from the Getty exhibition online; PDF version of the book