Circling the Canon, Volume I: The Selected Book Reviews of Marjorie Perloff, 1969–1994
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 I covers roughly the first half of Perloff’s career, beginning with her first ever review, on Anthony Hecht’s The Hard Hours. The reviews in this volume, culled from a wide range of scholarly journals, literary reviews, and national magazines, trace the evolution of poetry in the mid- to late twentieth century as well as the evolution of Perloff as a critic. Many of the authors whose works are reviewed in this volume are major figures, such as W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, Sylvia Plath, and Frank O’Hara. Others, including Mona Van Duyn and Richard Hugo, were widely praised in their day but are now all but forgotten. Still others—David Antin, Edward Dorn, or the Language poets—exemplify an avant-garde that was to come into its own.
About the Author
Marjorie Perloff teaches courses and writes on twentieth and now twenty-first century poetry and poetics, both Anglo-American and from a Comparatist perspective, as well as on intermedia and the visual arts. Her first three books dealt with individual poets--Yeats, Robert Lowell, and Frank O'Hara. She then published The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage (1981), a book that has gone through a number of editions, and led to her extensive exploration of avant-garde art movements in The Futurist Moment:Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture (1986, new edition, 1994), and subsequent books (13 in all). Wittgenstein's Ladder brought philosophy into the picture and Perloff has recently published her cultural memoir The Vienna Paradox (2004), which has been widely discussed. Her most recent book Differentials: Poetry,Poetics, Pedagogy won the Robert Penn Warren Prize for literary criticism in 2005 as well as Honorable Mention for the Robert Motherwell Prize of the Dedalus Foundation. She is a frequent reviewer for periodicals from TLS and The Washington Post to all the major scholarly journals, and has lectured at most major universities in the U.S. and at European, Asian, and Latin American universities and festivals. Perloff has held Guggenheim, NEH, and Huntington fellowships, served on the Advisory Board of theStanford Humanities Center, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is currently Scholar-in-Residence at theUniversity of Southern California. Perloff was the 2006 President of the Modern Language Association.