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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Reassessing Language Poetry: Thirty Years After The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book

Call for Papers: PAMLA 2014 (Riverside, CA / Oct. 31-Nov. 2)

First published in February of 1984, The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book collected essays,
excerpts, and experiments from the first three years (1978-81) of the
L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E literary magazine. At the time, the book represented a manifesto
of sorts for Language poetry; as editors Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein
explained, the collection was in large part animated by “our sense that the
project of poetry does not involve turning language into a commodity for
consumption; instead, it involves repossessing the sign through close attention
to, and active participation in, its production.” Thirty years later, Language
poetry has become one of (if not the) dominant influences on vanguard poetics in
America, and The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book has itself become a kind of “alpha
point” for studies of poets ranging from Lyn Hejinian and Steve McCaffery to
Ron Silliman and Rae Armantrout.

This panel seeks papers that (re)consider the evolution of Language poetry in
the thirty years since The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book was initially published. We
welcome proposals that address any aspect of this evolution, including:

        Specific Language poets or texts
        Relationships between various poets and/or texts
        General themes and motifs in Language poetry
        Issues related to Language poetics
        The political/social dimension of Language writing

This list is by no means exhaustive. Language poetry has had a wide influence on
contemporary poetics over the past three decades, and this session seeks to
honor that influence by bringing together a host of approaches to this diverse
body of writing. Proposals on any topics related to Language poetry and poetics
are equally welcome.

Submission Deadline: May 15

Please submit your proposal via the PAMLA website:

If you have any questions about this session, please contact Tom Jesse at

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