Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Black Mountain School


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the photo is of Robert Duncan
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Poets.org has a nice concise overview of the Black Mountain School, a phrase in which "school" functions literally (there was a school on the premises) and figuratively (a school or loosely related type of poetry arose from some who taught and/or studied there). Here is a brief excerpt from the brief overview:

"Black Mountain College, located in a collection of church buildings in Black Mountain, North Carolina, was an educational experiment that lasted from 1933 to 1956. It was one of the first schools to stress the importance of teaching creative arts and that, in combination with technical and analytical skills, the arts are essential to human understanding. The group of influential poets who studied, taught, or were associated with the school included Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, and Charles Olson. Though these poets' work was remarkably different, they shared creative philosophies that came to be known as "projective verse."

And here is a link to the rest of the description:


http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5648



I think the only poet from the Black Mountain School whom I saw/heard read in person was Robert Duncan, at U.C. Davis. But like e alot of poeo;e I've read and taught poems by Levertov, Olson, and Creeley often. My favorite of Olson's is "That Thing Was Moving," was is, in part, about a town dump. I rather like Creeley's often almost-imageless poems that seem like compact thought-maps, almost always crisply phrased.
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