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)


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