Thursday, July 17, 2003

Brian Kim Stefans asked for more on Harryette Mullen's take on Ron Silliman's "have their stories told" quote. I've found this bit from a Mullen interview with Daniel Kane:

Ron Silliman did us all a favor when he articulated what I consider a productive tension between content and form, between identity and innovation in contemporary poetry. As much as I claim Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Melvin Tolson, Bob Kaufman, Margaret Walker, and the poets of the Black Arts movement as literary ancestors, I also credit Silliman and other Language-oriented poets as important influences on my work, from the paratactic prose poetry of Trimmings and S*PeRM**K*T to my desire, in Muse & Drudge, to write a poem that encourages collaborative reading across cultural boundaries. (I take the term "collaborative reading" or "connective reading" from critical writing by Elisabeth Frost and Juliana Spahr.) I might add that my connection to the Language Poets of the Bay Area was through Nathaniel Mackey and Gloria Watkins, just as my link to poetry of the New York School, Umbra, and Black Arts movement was through Lorenzo Thomas.

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