© 2011

(Re:)Working the Ground

Essays on the Late Writings of Robert Duncan

  • Editors
  • James Maynard

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

About this book


This collection of essays focuses on the remarkable late writings of Robert Duncan. Although praised by reviewers, Duncan's last two books of poetry have yet to receive the critical attention they merit. Written by a cast of emerging and established scholars, these essays bring together a diverse set of approaches to reading Duncan's writing.


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About the authors

JAMES MAYNARD is Assistant Curator of the Poetry Collection at the University at Buffalo, USA.

Bibliographic information


"This welcome collection of essays addressing Robert Duncan s late writings offers an informative, thought-provoking range of insight and approach. The essays are blessed with deep archival, philological, and contextualizing reach, resonantly engaging the heft and the restive harmonics of Duncan s work." - Nathaniel Mackey, Reynolds Price Professor of English, Duke University

"This brilliant and much-needed collection of essays, along with three important works by Duncan himself, addresses the dynamics and materials of Duncan s making, the complex forces at work in his writing-as-reading and reading-as-writing, the range of his inclusive explorations and across-the-board readings, his investigations of other languages - and worlds besides.These essays exhilarate the connectedness of the late, great poems of Ground Work to the earlier, all the way from The Years as Catches to Bending the Bow." - Peter Quartermain, Professor of English Emeritus, University of British Columbia and author of Disjunctive Poetics from Gertrude Stein and Louis Zukofsky to Susan Howe

"Offers a definitive treatment of a poet for whom reading was a mode of being and writing an entry into cosmic orders. Far from providing a critical consensus on Duncan s notoriously eclectic work, these essays show the generative and rhizomatic trajectories his thought could pursue. Building on extensive archival research, essays in this volume trace Duncan s response to events of his own later years - Vietnam, feminism, gay liberation, as well as his own household, friendships, and mortality. With the long-awaited arrival of a multi-volume edition of Duncan s collected writings (Re:)Working the Ground re-opens the field of inquiry for this vital American poet." - Michael Davidson, Distinguished Professor of American Literature, UC San Diego