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

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Wesleyan University Press, Jun 1, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 290 pages
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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.
 

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The house that Jack built: the collected lectures of Jack Spicer

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Spicer died at 40 in 1965, having published a few titles and served as poetry editor of the Nation. He left behind a pile of papers that have been sifted through over the decades. The best of his ... Read full review

The house that Jack built: the collected lectures of Jack Spicer

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A key player in the San Francisco poetry and gay cultures of the 1940s and 1950s, Spicer (The Tower of Babel, Talisman, 1994) had, as editor Gizzi argues somewhat awkwardly, "all the curious ... Read full review

Contents

VANCOUVER LECTURE 1 Dictation and A Textbook of Poetry
1
VANCOUVER LECTURE 2 The Serial Poem and The Holy Grail
49
VANCOUVER LECTURE 3 Poetry in Process and Book of Magazine Verse
97
Poetry and Politics
149
Jack Spicer and the Practice of Reading
173
Uncollected Prose and Final Interview
227
Bibliography and Works Cited
245
Index
251
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About the author (2010)

PETER GIZZI is the author of the poetry collections Artificial Heart (1997) and Periplum (1992), and he is the recipient of a Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He is Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz

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