Charles Olson Selected Writings

ISBN 13: 9780811203357

Selected Writings

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Charles Olson (1910-1970), described by William Carlos Williams as "a major poet with a sweep of understanding of the world" and who, as Joel Oppenheimer once wrote, "brought two generations to life," stood as a bridge between the first leaders of the modern movement, such as Pound and Stein, and some of the most important later innovators (Denise Levertov acclaimed his work "magnificent"). This landmark collection, first published in 1967 and edited by his long-time friend Robert Creeley, includes poems from Olson’s superlative book, The Distances, as well as from his epic Maximus Poems. Also included are the entirety of the "Mayan Letters," written to Creeley while Olson was in the Yucatan studying Mayan hieroglyphs; "Appolonius of Tyana," a background script for an original dance play; and his ground-breaking manifesto on "Projective Verse" as well as other essential essays.

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A seminal figure in post-World War II literature, Charles Olson (1910-1970) has helped define the postmodern sensibility. His work is marked by an almost limitless range of interest and extraordinary depth of feeling. Olson's themes are among the largest conceivable: empowering love, political responsibility, historical discovery and cultural reckoning, the wisdom of dreams and the transformation of consciousness all carried in a voice both intimate and grand, American and timeless, impassioned and cooly demanding. His books include The Collected Poems of Charles Olson (University of California Press, 1997), The Maximus Poems (University of California Press, 1983), and The Collected Prose (University of California Press, 1997).

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"This now classic anthology... has influenced generations."

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