Tim Kreiner on Jasper Bernes

The second spring meeting of the PWG will be Friday, April 6th, 4:00pm in Whitney Humanities Center B-04. Tim Kreiner will lead a discussion of “Lyric and the Service Sector: Frank O’Hara at Work,” the first chapter from Jasper Bernes’ recent book The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization. For those with time who are inclined to see the full sweep of Bernes’ historical method, the introduction is available as optional reading. For those who are curious about Bernes’ method but have less time, the last pages of the introduction (p. 21ff of the pdf; p. 32ff of the book) offer a schematic overview.


As always, we will have snacks and drinks and sharp discussion. If you would like to know more about the group, or need the password for the readings page, please be in touch with any of the organizers.


Ben, Naomi, and Clay

Clay Greene on Early Modern Poetics

Our first meeting of the Spring semester will be Friday, February 23rd, at 4:00pm, in room B-02 of the Whitney Humanities Center (LC is packed with debaters, apparently). Clay Greene will present recent critical work in Early Modern poetics. The primary reading will be Gavin Alexander, “On the Reuse of Form,” from the 2014 collection The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture. Clay also recommends an optional second piece from that collection, “A Poetics of Song.” Both articles are available on the Readings page. If you need the password please email any of the organizers. We will have snacks, wine, beer, and excellent discussion!


Ben, Naomi, and Clay

Poetry and Song: Ben Glaser on Brent Edwards; Naomi Levine on Elizabeth Helsinger

Our second meeting of the Fall semester will be Friday, November 17th, at 4:00 pm. We will discuss two recently published books each concerned with how poetry thinks through and about song. Ben will introduce selected essays from Brent Hayes Edwards’ new collection Epistrophies, including his seminal reading of Nathaniel Mackey’s Song of the Andoumboulou. Edwards will be here to give the James Weldon Johnson lecture on November 30th, so this is a great chance to learn about his work. Naomi will present material from Elizabeth Helsinger’s 2015 book, Poetry and the Thought of Song in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Perhaps these two works will speak to each other across time and space!

The location will be LC318. PDFs are posted under “Readings and Resources.” If you do not have the password please email any of the organizers. As always, there will be snacks wine and beer.

Ben, Naomi, and Clay

Greg Ellermann presents Veronica Forrest-Thomson (Poetic Artifice+)

Our first event of the 2017-2018 year will be Friday September 29th, 4pm, for a discussion of selections from Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s influential Poetic Artifice, recently reprinted and still a seminal study of poetry’s “imaginary orders.” Greg Ellermann, lecturer in English, is choosing the selection as well as several poems by VFT and JH Prynne. He has generously offered to open the discussion with a very short overview. The pdfs will be posted shortly under “Readings and Resources.” (We’ll send the password separately–or email Ben if you can’t find it). There will be beer, wine, and snacks.

Since this is our first meeting, we’ll go out for more food and drink afterward. Please RSVP if you want to join in — all are welcome. That will be a chance to discuss future readings and ideas for the group.

We’ll have similar events in October and November, to be announced. If you’d like to suggest material or present in some way, be in touch! If you want to be unsubscribed and can’t do it directly, we’re happy to help (email ben).

Looking forward to it!
Ben, Naomi, and Clay


Welcome to the Poetics Working Group, generously funded by Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center. For access to readings or other information, please use the contact form below or write to ben.glaser[at]yale.edu