Selected Essays



“Cy Twombly, the postmodern painter”

Published in TLS [online], 2/8/2016.


Spectral Telepathy: the Late Style of Susan Howe

Published in Transatlantica [online], 1 | (2016).

In Memoriam David Antin (1932-2016)

Critical Inquiry, October 2016.


“La Grande Permission: Ashbery’s Legacy”

Published in TAB: JOURNAL OF POETRY AND POETICS,Vol 1, 2 (Feb 2013), 13-29.


“Poetry on the Brink”

Published in Boston Review 37, no. 3 (May / June 2012), pp. 60-69  and rpt in slightly different from inVLAK, 3 (2012), 189-199.

“A Cessation of Resemblances: Stein, Picasso, Duchamp”

Originally published in Battersea Review 1, 1 (2012). Forthcoming in a volume of essays by Oxford University Press.

“Refiguring the Poundian Ideogram: From BLANCO/BRANCO to the GALAXIAS”

Published in Modernist Cultures, Special Issue: Transnational Hispanic Modernities, 7, 1 (2012), 40-55.

“The Madness of the Unexpected: Duchamp’s Readymades and the Survival of ‘High’ Art”

Published in Forma e Sentido Contemporaneo, ed. Antonio Cicero (Rio di Janeiro, 2012); and in shorter version (with few figures), in Sasha Bru et al. (eds), Regarding the Popular: Modernism, the Avant-Garde and High and Low Culture (Berlin: Walter de Gruyeter, 2012), 14-32.

“The Audacity of Hope: The Foundational Futurist Manifestos”

Published in The History of Futurism: The Precursors, Protagonists, and Legacies, ed. Geert Buelens, Harald Hendrix, and Monica Jansen (Langham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012), 9-30; rpt. TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Vol. 1, Issue 2, 2013.

Difference and Discipline:  Cage/Cunningham Aesthetic Revisited

Published in Contemporary Music  31.1 (2012), 19-35 and online at  Available in Farsi at


Abstraction and “Unreadability” in Gertrude Stein’s Portraits: The Case of Christian Bérard


The Shipwreck of the Singular: George Oppen’s “Of Being Numerous”

Originally Published in Ironwood (#26, Fall 1985, a special George Oppen issue)

“The Ecstasy of Always Bursting Forth!”: Rereading Frank O’Hara

Published in Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry & Opinion, 1, Fall 2008

Learning from Lexington: Guy Davenport

Published in Poetry, July/August 2008



“An Image from a Past Life”:  Beckett’s Yeatsian Turn

Published in Fulcrum, No. 6, 2007

“The First Futurist Manifesto Revisited”

Published in Rett Kopi: Manifesto issue: Dokumenterer Fremtiden (2007):  152-56.

Foreword to Yoko Tawada: Voices From Everywhere, edited by Douglas Slaymaker

Published by Lexington Books, 2007

Conceptualisms, Old and New

Published in Parkett, 2007

The Radical Poetics of Robert Creeley

Published in Electronic Book Review, 10 (2007)

Duchamp’s Eliot: The Detours of Tradition and the Persistence of Individual Talent

Published in T.S. Eliot and the Concept of Tradition, ed. Giovanni Cianci and Jason Harding, Cambridge University Press (2007).

How to Read a Poem: W.B. Yeats’s “After Long Silence”


Translation of “Speech Police and Polyglot Play” by Yoko Tawada

Published in LYRIC 9 (2006), 55-63.

Screening the Page/ Paging the Screen: Digital Poetics and the Differential Text

Published in New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories, ed. Adelaide Morris and Thomas SwissI (Cambridge and London: MIYT Press (2006): 14364.

John Cage’s Living Theatre

Published in Martin Puchner and Alan Ackerman (eds.), Against Theatre: Creative Destruction on the Modernist Stage (New York: Palgrave, 2006), 133-48.

“Sound Scraps, Vision Scraps”: Paul Celan’s Poetic Practice

Published in Reading for Form, ed. Susan J. Wolfson and Marshall Brown (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2006), 177-202.

“A Lost Batallion of Platonic Conversationalists”:  “Howl” and the Language of Modernism

Published in Jason Shinder (ed.), The Poem that Changed America: ‘Howl’ Fifty Years Later (New York: Farrar Straus, 2006),  24-43.

Playing the Numbers: The French Reception of Louis Zukofsky

Published in Verse 22-23 (2006): 102-20.


The Aura of Modernism

Published in Modernist Cultures, Vol. 1: Issue 1, Spring 2005.

“In Love with Hiding”:  Samuel Beckett’s War

Published in Iowa Review, 35, no. 2 (2005): 76-103.

“Moving Information”: On Kenneth Goldsmith’s The Weather

Open Letter: “Kenneth Goldsmith & Conceptual Poetics,” 2005

‘Easter 1916’: Yeats’s World War I Poem

Published in Tim Kendall (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry

“The Renaissance of 1910”: Reflections on Guy Davenport’s Poetics

Published in Fulcrum 4 (2006), 167-73. ; in translation, “O Renascimento de 1910,” Sibila 6, no 10 (2006); 168-76.

Epilogue, Modernism Now

Published in A Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture, ed. David Bradshaw and Kevin Dettmar (2006), pp. 571-78.

Hugh Kenner and the Invention of Modernism

Published in Modernism/Modernity, 12, no 3 (September 2005): 465-70.


“But Isn’t The Same at least the Same?”: Wittgenstein and the Question of Poetic Translatability

In The Literary Wittgenstein, ed. John Gibson and Wolfgang Huemer (eds.), (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 34-54. Trans. In Wittgenstein und die Literatur, trans. Martin Sahr (Suhrkamp, 2006): 58-83.

Avant-Garde Community and the Individual Talent: The Case of Language Poetry


The Search for “Prime Words”: Pound, Duchamp, and the Nominalist Ethos

Published in Paideuma, 32, 1-3 (2003), 205-28. Also in Ezra Pound and Referentiality (Paris; Presses de l’UniversitÈ de Paris-Sorbonne, 2003): 191-210.

“Waiting” – Words on Plays

Published by American Conservatory Theory, October 2003.

Response to Ronald Schuchard

A reply to Schurchard’s “Burbank with a Baedeker, Eliot with a cigar: American intellectuals, anti-semitism, and the idea of culture,” Modernism/Modernity 10, no. 1 (2003): 1-26.
Published in Modernism/Modernity, 10, no. 1 (2003): 51-56.

Filling the Space with Trace: Tom Raworth’s “Letters from Yaddo”

Published in The Gig, issues 13-14 (May 2003): 130-44.

The Beckett/Feldman Radio Collaboration, Words and Music as Hörspiel

Published in The Beckett Circle, 26, no. 2 (Fall 2003): 207-11.


“Teaching the “new” Poetries: The Case of Rae Armantrout

Published in Kiosk: A Joural of Poetry, Poetics, and Experimental Prose, 1 (2002) pp. 235-60.

Writing Poetry after 9/11

Published in American Letters & Commentary(2002): 18-23.

Rosmarie Waldrop’s Auto-graphs

Published in How 2 (Fall 2002), online, 15 pp.

Robert Creeley’s Windows

Published in Bridge 2, no. 1 (Fall-Winter 2002): 187-94.


Watchman, Spy, and Dead Man: Johns, O’Hara, Cage and the “Aesthetic of Indifference”

Published in Modernism / Modernity, 8, no. 2 (2001): 197-223.

The Return of the Repressed

Published in The Future of Literary Studies, ed. Hans Ulrich Gumbrechad and Walter Moser (Edmonton: Library of the Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, 2001), pp. 117-22.


In Defense of Poetry: Put the literature back into literary studies

Published in Boston Review, February/March, 2000.

Happy World: What Lyn Hejinian’s Poetry Tells Us About Chance, Fortune and Pleasure

The Boston Review: February / March 2000


Dada Without Duchamp / Duchamp Without Dada: Avant-Garde Tradition and the Individual Talent

Published in Stanford Humanities Review, 7.1 (1999): 48-78. Trans into Portugese, in “Leituras do ciclo, ed. Ana Luiza Andrade, MariaLucia de Barros Camargo, Raul Antelo (Santa Catarina: Editora Grifos, 199),pp. 23-44.

Cultural Liminality / Aesthetic Closure?: The “Interstitial Perspective” of Homi Bhabha

Published in Literary Imagination, 1, no. 1 (Spring 99):109-25.

The Silence That Is Not Silence: Acoustic Art In Samuel Beckett’s Embers

Published in Samuel Beckett and the Arts: Music, Visual Arts, and Non-Print Media (New York and London: Garland, 1999), pp. 247-68.

“Logocinéma of the Frontiersman”: Jolas’s Multilingual Poetics and its Legacies

Published in Kunapipi, 1999, pp. 145-63.

Language Poetry and the Lyric Subject: Ron Silliman’s Albany, Susan Howe’s Buffalo

Published in Critical Inquiry, 25 (Spring1999), 405-434.


Triplespace (on Hank Lazer’s poetry)

From The Virginia Quarterly Review Vol. 74 No. 2 (Spring 1998): 380-390.

The Portrait of the Language Poet as Autobiographer: The Case of Ron Silliman

Published in Quarry West, 34: Ron Silliman Issue, ed. Tom Vogler (1998): 167-81.

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Poetry

Published in PN Review 115 (April-May 1997): 17-25; Grub Street and the Ivory Tower: Literary Journalism and Literary Scholarship from Fielding to the Internet, ed. Jeremy Treglown and Bridget Bennett, (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998), pp. 224-49.

“How a thing will / unfold”: Fractal Rhythms in A. R. Ammons’s Briefings

Published in Complexities of Motion: A.R. Ammons’s Longer Poems, ed. Steven P. Schnedier (Fairleigh Dickinson press, 1998), pp. 68-82.

Harm’s Other Way: Some Notes on Mac Wellman’s Theatre

The Mac Wellman Journal (Sock Monkey Press, 1998): 31-36. Reprinted in GERM, 3 (1998).

Collage and Poetry

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, ed. Michael Kelly, 4 vols. (New York: Oxford U Press, 1998), Vol 1, 384-87; Stein, Vol. 4, 306-10.

Letter to the Editor. Re: Harold Bloom’s The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997.

Published in The Boston Review


William Carlos Williams Encyclopedia

JAMES LAUGHLIN (1914-1997)

Published in Parnassus 23, no. 1 and 2 (1998): 24-31.

Sex, Lies, and First Ladies: A Modest (Wittgensteinian) Proposal

Southwest Review, 84, no. 1 (1998): 30-42.

Introduction: Young American Poets

Yang (Antwerp, Belgium), 182 (Summer 1998): 183-85.


Normalizing John Ashbery

Jacket (Australia), Issue #2 (online), December 1997, 14 pp.

In Search of the Authentic Other: The Poetry of Araki Yasuda

Published in Boston Review 22, no. 2 (April/May 1997): 26-33.

A Syntax of Contrariety (on Bruce Andrews)

Published in Aerial 9 (1997): 234-38

New Definitions of Lyric (A Response)

Published in New Definitions of Lyric, ed. Mark Jeffreys (New York: Garland Press, 1997): pp. 243-53.

“A Step Away From Them’: Poetry 1956

Lecture given at University of Copenhagen, September 1997

Textuality and the Visual: A Response


John Cage’s Dublin, Lyn Hejinian’s Leningrad: Poetic Cities as Cyberspace

Published in Arthur F. Kinney (ed.), Classical, Renaissance, and Postmodern Acts of the Imagination: Essays Commemorating O. B. Hardison, Jr. (Newark: U of Delaware, Press, 1996): pp. 58-75.

Modernism without Modernists: A Response to Walter Benn Michaels

Published in Modernism/Modernity, Vol 3, no. 3 (September 1996): 99-106.

Robert Duncan’s Letters to Denise Levertov

Published in PN Review 112 (Nov-Dec, 1996): 33-38.

Something is Happening, Mr. Jones

Published in Electronic Book Review: Politics of Selling out issue, 1, 2 (1996), 8 pages.

Whose New American Poetry? Anthologizing in the Nineties

Diacritics, 26, 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1996): 104-23


English As A “Second” Language : Mina Loy’s “Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose”

Mina Loy: Woman and Poet, ed. Maeera Schreiber and Keith Tuma (National Poetry Foundation, 1996), pp. 131-48. Rpt. in French translation in Après l’usure de toutes les routes: Retour sur l’épopée, Volumes 49-50 of in ‘hui, ed. Jacques Darras (Brussels, 1997): 127-145; trans. Dominque Goy-Blanquet

What Really Happened: Barthes’s Winter Garden / Boltanski’s Archives

Artes, 2 (1995): 110-25. Rpt. in slightly different form in Writing the Image After Roland Barthes, ed. Jean-Michel Rabaté, U of Penn Press,1997), pp. 32-58.

The Music of Verbal Space: John Cage’s “What You Say”

Sound States: Innovative Poetics and Accoustical Technologies, with accompanying CD, ed. Adalaide Morris, Chapel Hill and London: Univ. of North Carolina Press (1997), pp. 129-48.

Afterimages: Revolution of the (Visible) Word

Experimental, Visual, Concrete: Avant-Garde Poetry since the 1960s, ed. K. David Jackson, Eric Vos, & Johanna Drucker

“Living in the Same Place”: The Old Mono-Nationalism and the New Comparative Literature

World Literature Today, 69, no. 2 (Spring 1995): 249-255. Translated into Serbo-Croat, in Transkatalog, 6/7 (1998): 76-84.