© 2019

Phenomenology and the Late Twentieth-Century American Long Poem

  • Illuminates the role of phenomenological philosophy in American poetics

  • Discusses critical approaches to long poems

  • Details the avant-garde poets who have most influenced the long poem


Part of the Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics book series (MPCC)

About this book


Phenomenology and the Late Twentieth-Century American Long Poem reads major figures including Charles Olson, Lyn Hejinian, Nathaniel Mackey, Susan Howe and Rachel Blau DuPlessis within a new approach to the long poem tradition. Through a series of contextualised close readings, it explores the ways in which American poets developed their poetic forms by engaging with a variety of European phenomenologists, including Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. Consolidating recent materials on the role of Continental Philosophy in American poetics, this book explores the theoretical and historical contexts in which avant-garde poets have developed radically new methods of making poems long. Matthew Carbery offers a timely commentary on a number of major works of American poetry whilst providing ground-breaking research into the wider philosophical context of late twentieth-century poetic experimentation.


American long form poem avant-garde poetry experimental poetry philosophy and poetry Susan Howe Rachel Blau DuPlessis Charles Olson Merleau-Ponty Derrida Continental Philosophy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Plymouth UniversityPlymouthUK

About the authors

Matthew Carbery is an Early Career Researcher currently living in Cambridge, UK. He is also an editor of EPIZOOTICS! literary magazine, and his poetry has been published in Tears in the Fence, Blackbox Manifold, CTRL+ALT+DEL, Otoliths, Stride and Dead King Magazine.

Bibliographic information


“The modern long poem, in its sheer formal diversity, remains somewhat impervious to generic analysis. Thankfully we can now turn to Matthew Carbery’s book, which provides tools for understanding what makes the (especially American, avant-garde) long poem long. Carbery’s focus on ‘extension,’ and his insightful analysis of the poetic inquiry into perception of subjectivity, provide a unique and flexible means of containing the real diversity of long poem forms.” (Stephen Collis, Professor of English, Simon Fraser University, Canada)