Circling the Canon, Volume II
312 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 halftone
Release Date:15 Nov 2019

Circling the Canon, Volume II

The Selected Book Reviews of Marjorie Perloff, 1995-2017

University of New Mexico Press

One of our most important contemporary critics, Marjorie Perloff has been a widely published and influential reviewer, especially of poetry and poetics, for over fifty years. Circling the Canon, Volume II focuses on the second half of her prolific career, showcasing reviews from 1995 through her 2017 reconsiderations of Jonathan Culler’s theory of the lyric and William Empson’s classic Seven Types of Ambiguity. In this volume Perloff provides insight into the twenty-first-century literary landscape, from revaluations of its leading poets and translations of European poetry from Goethe to the Brazilian Noigandres group and interart studies and performance art. Key issues of the past few decades, such as the controversy over the role and function of poetry anthologies, receive extended treatment, and Perloff frequently voices a minority view, as in the case of the acclaimed British poet Philip Larkin.

I knew I was going to be entertained and informed by one of the most astute critics of our time and, particularly, of the avant-gardes of our time. Her inquisitive intelligence always turns up something new. Robert Sheppard, Stride magazine
Friend of John Cage and John Ashbery, indefatigable explainer of the avant-garde, Marjorie Perloff is a critic of international standing whose close readings analyze modernist seriousness as well as postmodernist playfulness, relishing especially the radical difficulty of the Language Poets she has long championed.…Her observation that ‘the book review is by definition the site of controversy’ rings true, as does her wish for the best literary criticism to be ‘always, in the end, both evaluative and engaged.’ The latter words certainly apply to her own. Jules Smith, Times Literary Supplement
A highly rewarding set of essay reviews, which covers a lot of literary poetic ground. Clark Allison, Tears in the Fence
This collection is a record of one of the best and most influential critical minds in contemporary poetry and poetics. It is both timely and timeless. Yunte Huang, author of Transpacific Imaginations: History, Literature, Counterpoetics

Marjorie Perloff is the author and editor of twenty books, including Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy and 21st-Century Modernism: The New Poetics. She is a Sadie Dernham Patek Professor of Humanities emerita at Stanford University. David Jonathan Bayot is the coauthor or editor of twenty-two books, including Marjorie Perloff’s Poetics in a New Key: Interviews and Essays and Deconstruction After All: Reflections and Conversations. He is the Go Kim Pah Professor of Chinese Literature at De La Salle University and the executive publisher of De La Salle University Publishing House.


David Jonathan Bayot


Marjorie Perloff


Marjorie Perloff

Chapter One. Whose New American Poetry? Anthologizing in the Nineties

Chapter Two. A New Apollinaire Translation

Chapter Three. The Mina Loy Mysteries

Chapter Four. To Wonder Without Becoming Dry

Chapter Five. Four by John Ashbery

Chapter Six. Reading Gass Reading Rilke

Chapter Seven. The Rescue of the Singular

Chapter Eight. The Poetry of Tom Raworth

Chapter Nine. Translating Brazilian Concrete Poetry: The French Connection

Chapter Ten. Midwife to the Unborn Homunculus

Chapter Eleven. A New Ezra Pound

Chapter Twelve. Wars I Have Dreamed

Chapter Thirteen. The Return of Robert Lowell

Chapter Fourteen. Anna Akhmatova in Translation

Chapter Fifteen. Vienna Roast: On Elfriede Jelinek

Chapter Sixteen. Dreams of Weeds

Chapter Seventeen. The Poetics of Austerity

Chapter Eighteen. Hebrew Poetry in Medieval Spain

Chapter Nineteen. Resurrecting Vladimir Mayakovsky

Chapter Twenty. "The Ecstasy of Always Bursting Forth!": Rereading Frank O’Hara

Chapter Twenty-One. The Beckett Correspondence

Chapter Twenty-Two. The Life of Lorine Niedecker

Chapter Twenty-Three. I Remember Vanilla Pudding

Chapter Twenty-Four. The Last Waltz

Chapter Twenty-Five. Insane River

Chapter Twenty-Six. The Eliot Correspondence

Chapter Twenty-Seven. Strange Voice

Chapter Twenty-Eight. C’est moi dans la poubelle

Chapter Twenty-Nine. Adrienne Rich: A Revaluation

Chapter Thirty. Empire Falls: Joseph Roth’s Dispatches from a Europe on the Brink

Chapter Thirty-One. Theorizing the Lyric

Chapter Thirty-Two. The William Empson Revival

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