© 2010

Procedural Form in Postmodern American Poetry

Berrigan, Antin, Silliman, and Hejinian

  • Authors

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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. David W. Huntsperger
    Pages 21-39
  3. David W. Huntsperger
    Pages 165-168
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 169-195

About this book


This book explores the political significance of formal experimentation in American poetry written during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. It focuses on the use of procedural forms, which involve the invention of rules or methods designed to structure the production of a poem's content.


America poem poetry structure

About the authors

DAVID W. HUNTSPERGER, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Washington, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Following Joseph Conte's pioneering work on serial forms in postmodern poetry, Huntsperger reads procedural poetry - works that William James might have recognized as a fine new kind of realism - not only for evidence of individual acts of extraordinary literary labor, but for clues to the general conditions of economic production in post-war America. All cultural artifacts, from the most recondite avant-garde arcana to the most popular and spectacular corporate entertainments, evince the historical (political, social) pressures that deform them, but the avant-garde, Procedural Form shows us, can also display the possibilities for a studied resistance to such pressures." - Craig Dworkin, Professor, University of Utah

"Examining poetry by Ted Berrigan, David Antin, Ron Silliman, and Lyn Hejinian, David Huntsperger demonstrates how the various procedural forms they employ reveal the labor that goes into the making of the poetry. This matters because it allows Huntsperger to advance a Marxian reading that counters Fredric Jameson s famous dismissal of postmodern poetry as schizophrenic, presenting it instead as a compelling and rewarding form of social critique." - Stephen Fredman, author of Contextual Practice: Assemblage and the Erotic in Postwar Poetry and Art

"Huntsperger is a congenial and expert guide to the intricacies of procedural form, arguing convincingly for the powers of political critique that poetry may still command." - Peter Nicholls, New York University