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The Future of Poetry Criticism @ UChicago

February 27, 2006

How to Read. What to Do: The Future of Poetry Criticism

Friday, March 3 – Saturday, March 4, 2006 at The University of Chicago

Is there such a thing as poetry criticism?

Successive waves of theory have worn the sharp edges from most attempts to delineate the genre of lyric, to distinguish poetic from ordinary language, or to describe poetry as a special place where the structure and operation of language reveal themselves. At present, literary criticism tends to regard “poetry” less as a singular practice, and more as a name for a changeable set of desires and cultural ambitions.

But despite the particularizing tendencies of our historicist criticism, there remain critics of poetry who continue to read and to write about poems as though they were part of a single tradition. How to Read. What to Do: The Future of Poetry Criticism gathers together critics to make conscious sense of our common-sense practices of reading. Working closely with poems across traditions, periods and languages, we will examine the practical intuition that “poetry is a whole” and imagine ways in which it might be considered so.

Jennifer Ashton, University of Illinois at Chicago
Brett Bourbon, Stanford University
Steve Burt, Macalester College
Jeff Dolven, Princeton University
Oren Izenberg, University of Chicago
Maureen McLane, Harvard University
Mark Payne, University of Chicago
Jennifer Scappettone, University of Chicago
Gabrielle Starr, New York University

Go here to view a full schedule and download papers.

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