The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer

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Wesleyan University Press, Jul 29, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 265 pages

Illuminates Jack Spicer's provocative lectures on radical poetics

The House That Jack Built collects for the first time the four historic talks given by controversial poet Jack Spicer just before his early death in 1965. These lively and provocative lectures function as a gloss to Spicer's own poetry, a general discourse on poetics, and a cautionary handbook for young poets. This long-awaited document of Spicer's unorthodox poetic vision, what Robin Blaser has called "the practice of outside," is an authoritative edition of an underground classic.

Peter Gizzi's afterword elucidates some of the fundamental issues of Spicer's poetry and lectures, including the concept of poetic dictation, which Spicer renovates with vocabularies of popular culture: radio, Martians, and baseball; his use of the California landscape as a backdrop for his poems; and his visual imagination in relation to the aesthetics of west-coast funk assemblage. This book delivers a firsthand account of the contrary and turbulent poetics that define Spicer's ongoing contribution to an international avant-garde.

 

Contents

VANCOUVER LECTURE 1
1
The Serial Poem and The Holy Grail
49
VANCOUVER LECTURE 3
97
CALIFORNIA LECTURE
149
AFTERWORD
173
Uncollected Prose and Final Interview
227
Bibliography and Works Cited
245
Index
251
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

PETER GIZZI is the author of six collections of poetry including Threshold Songs and In Defense of Nothing. He works at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.