Open Form in American Poetry: Essays by Burton Hatlen

Burt Hatlen was a passionate critic, and a believer in the passion and commitments of the artists about whom he wrote. And this was an amazing list—among them Pound, Williams, Oppen, Zukofsky, Reznikoff, Rakosi, Bunting, Olson and Duncan, but also Boyle, Retallack, Stevens, Dorn, Enslin, H.D., Levertov, and Spicer. Despite being among the first people to write assiduously and systematically about the Objectivists, he always produced a “second order” criticism—subtle, nuanced, sophisticated and deeply engaged (rather than a first order criticism of simple—if necessary—introduction and gloss). His perspicacity, accuracy, and penetration have been models for all critics who have followed his work. He was an authentic lover of poetry and of the hard poem. He was instrumental in putting writers and a whole part of U.S. poetry on the critical agenda. . . . Burt Hatlen was one of the critical minds who pioneered this field. He also brought critics and poets together to discuss poetry—while this move was not absolutely unique when he did it, it was still pioneering. We are all in his debt for the institutions he built and helped to build. . . . He did—in fact—several careers’ worth of writing, editing, thinking, and he was a major citizen of the profession, a figure of commitment and intensity.” –from “Tribute to Burt Hatlen” by Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Professor Emerita, Temple University, published in PAIDEUMA 40 / SAGETRIEB 20
To purchase this book, click here
Essays in this collection:
“All That Sandro Knew”: Ezra Pound and the Pre-Raphaelite Aesthetic
Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos and the Origins of Projective Verse
The Imagist Poetics of H.D.’s Sea Garden
“Love rules them all”: “Asphodel” as a Romantic and/or Modernist Text
Art and/as Labor:  Some Dialectical Patterns in “A”-1 through “A”-10
“Not altogether lone in a lone universe”: George Oppen’s The Materials
Opening Up the Text: Interrogation, Negation, Repetition, Interruption,
and Dialogue in George Oppen’s Of Being Numerous
Nationalism, Regionalism, and Internationalism in Basil Bunting’s Briggflatts
Kinesis and Meaning: Charles Olson’s “The Kingfishers” and the Critics
Visionary Imagism: Robert Duncan’s Reinvention of Literary Tradition
in The H.D. Book
Scholar, poet, and professor Burton Hatlen (1936–2008) taught at the University of Maine for many years. He also was the Director of the National Poetry Foundation, where he oversaw its long list of book and journal publications, including editing the ground-breaking collection, George Oppen, Man and Poet. Although Professor Hatlen’s scholarly writing and poetics were well-known through his many essays in literary journals, he never compiled a volume of his own essays, always anticipating a new area of research with new insights. Open Form in American Poetry is thus the first published one-author collection of Burton Hatlen’s scholarly writing.
Student and lifelong friend of Burton Hatlen,  poet Bruce Holsapple earned a PhD from SUNY Buffalo. He worked for many years as a speech-language pathologist in central New Mexico. He is the author of seven books of poetry, the most recent, Wayward Shadow, published by La Alameda Press. Holsapple is also the author of the award-winning study, The Birth of the Imagination; William Carlos Williams on Form, published by the University of New Mexico Press.
Published in association with the University of Maine Center for Poetry and Poetics
310 pages, with 7 color plates; hardcover
ISBN 978-0-89101-131-6