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Charles Olson & Robert Creeley: Volume 6

Charles Olson & Robert Creeley: Volume 6

The Complete Correspondence

by Charles Olson, Robert Creeley
Edited by George F. Butterick

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Product Details

Black Sparrow Press

ISBN: 978-0-87685-585-0
Pages: 246
Size: 6" x 9"
Published: April 1985
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 Charles Olson called his letters with Robert Creeley "perhaps the most important correspondence of my life." In the dedication to The Maximus Poems (1960), Olson names Creeley "The Figure of Outward," a term elaborated in a short poem written near the end of his life:

the Figure of Outward means way out way out 

there: the 'World,' I'm sure, otherwise

why was the pt. then to like write to Creeley

daily? to make that whole thing

double, to

objectify the extension of an

'outward'? a[n] opposite to a

personality which so completely does (did)

stay at home?

Through personal narrative and critique of individual poems, the nearly 1000 letters that passed between Olson and Creely parse the evolution of their generation's poetics. Meticulously collected and edited by George Fiction. Butterick and, later, Richard Blevins, these ten volumes stand as priceless testament to an entire era of the American word.

From the editor: Each man allowed the other his head, took what came, and found of interest (or at least discussible) each other's preoccupations. Sometimes a dialogue ensued, other times one generously allowed himself to be used as a sounding board for the other's necessities. Together they hammered out a poetics – both the specialized craft of the wordsmith, but also the larger issue of how a man of language must live in the world. —George Fiction. Butterick

Also Available from Godine:

Charles Olson and Robert Creeley: The Complete Correspondence Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 7, Volume 8, Volume 9, Volume 10

Charles Olson
Charles Olson was a second-generation American poet who was a link between earlier figures such as Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and the New American poets, which includes the New York School, the Black Mountain School, the Beat poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Consequently, many postmodern groups, such as the poets of the Language school, include Olson as a primary and precedent figure. He described himself not so much as a poet or writer but as "an archeologist of morning."

Robert Creeley

Robert Creely was an American poet and author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school's. He was close with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, John Wieners and Ed Dorn. He served as the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities at State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991, he joined colleagues Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, Raymond Federman, Robert Bertholf, and Dennis Tedlock in founding the Poetics Program at Buffalo. Creeley lived in Waldoboro, Maine, Buffalo, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, where he taught at Brown University. He was a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Author: George F. Butterick
George F. Butterick was an authority on the poet Charles Olson, edited Olson's 600-page work, ''The Maximus Poem,'' and at the time of his death was working on a biography of the poet. He received the American Book Award for his ''Collected Poems of Charles Olson,'' which was published in 1987. He was a a lecturer in English and curator of the Literary Archives at the University of Connecticut.