Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch: A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole, 1980–2012

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9781609640637: Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch: A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole, 1980–2012

“The title of Ken Warren’s selective and provocative history of American poets and poetry over the past thirty years comes from an incident partially narrated in Tom Clark’s Charles Olson. The Allegory of a Poet’s Life [318] in which Gregory Corso makes a disruptive appearance in Olson’s afternoon seminar on myth, 1964. I say “partially” because as a member of that class and a witness to the events of that afternoon it seems to me Clark omits a few important facts, e.g. that after challenging the assembled students to match him in reciting from memory lines of Shelley (or perhaps by extension any poet) and hearing only universal silence, Corso began pointing out with increasing intensity that “we are all on death row” and that he was “Captain Poetry”. Finally he turned to Olson: “Aren’t I Captain Poetry, Charles?” “Yes,” Olson replied. “Then what should I do?” And without missing a beat Olson said calmly and with some humor, “report for duty.” David Posner, the Curator of the Lockwood Poetry library, never stepped into the room – the fracas happened after Corso had fled Olson’s class. It did not then and has never since seemed to me that Olson asked Corso to report to him, though the exchange might be interpreted so; rather, I took Olson to mean report to Poetry. Certainly that’s what Olson was teaching. And it’s worth mentioning here because Ken Warren’s work over the past three decades, both as editor and publisher of House Organ (an occasional magazine in which some of these pieces first appeared) and as a freelance essayist and critic outside academic writing, constitutes the sort of discipline, dedication, and persistence which Poetry has demanded from him, not as a maker of poems but as a friend, an ear, a receptive mind.” - Albert Glover, editor of Letters for Origin, 1950—1956 by Charles Olson, (Cape Goliard, 1969) “Kenneth Warren thinks the world through the poetry of those poets who have thought the world through their poetry. When working on Olson, for instance, Warren travels every path opened by this multitentacled explorer, and goes farther, with the poet, to the places he suggested but pursued only in part. Warren is one of the few and great readers of American poetry who accompanies poets on their missions and takes their work to where their “sunflower wishes to go,” serving in this way not just Poesy, but the regions Poesy herself aims for. Warren is the philosopher-friend of poets who imagine the sublime, a fearless companion who serves out their sentences with vigor, aplomb, and even delight. He is a masochist, a poet, and a star.” - Andrei Codrescu, author of Whatever Gets You Through the Night: a Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments (Princeton, 2011) “If you have any interest in poetry, the poetry that matters, Ken Warren's Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch needs to be your constant companion. It is a critical examination of the past thirty years of poetry ( plus some film & music), and it’s a language event in itself, a poetic mirroring of the occasion for its writing of not only what's new but what's news worthy. The list of writers, essential but too often ignored, is impressive: Kerouac, Snyder, Corso, Wakoski, Acker, Eshleman, Doubiago, Eigner, d. a. levy, Susan Howe, Hirschman, Oppen, Tarn, as well as cultural figures like John Cage, Simone Weil, David Lynch, Bo Diddley, and including the major revision of the Charles Olson and Vincent Ferrini relationship, the importance of Jack Clarke, teacher, scholar, poet, all set in the human context (the Homeric subtitle) that makes even the archaic contemporary.” - Joe Napora, author of Sentences and Bills—1917 (Wind, 2011)

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About the Author:

Born in New York City in 1953, Kenneth Warren is the editor of House Organ, a quarterly letter of poetry and prose. His two collections of poetry are Rock/the Boat: Book One (Oasis Press, 1998) and The Wandering Boy (Flo Press, 1979).

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Kenneth Warren
Published by BlazeVOX [books] (2012)
ISBN 10: 1609640632 ISBN 13: 9781609640637
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Book Description BlazeVOX [books], 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1609640632

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