Welcome to “Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets.” This site — which has been called “every New York School fan’s favorite blog” by the Poetry Foundation, “a superb resource” by the Best American Poetry, and “a must-go-to resource” by the Allen Ginsberg Project — is intended to be a place where scholars, critics, poets, students, and anyone else interested in the poets and artists of the New York School can find information and commentary about new books, articles, interviews, and anything else related to the New York School. It also focuses on the writers, artists, musicians, and other figures who influenced the New York School, as well as on the movement’s profound legacy for later writing, art, and culture more broadly. (To find out more about the figures and topics I regularly cover on this blog, see the “Categories” listed in the drop-down tab on the right side of the screen, where you can also find the archives for all previous posts, and/or check out this summary I posted to mark the site’s fifth anniversary).
The site’s name, “Locus Solus,” is borrowed from the title of the 1914 novel by the eccentric French writer Raymond Roussel, who was such a formative influence on the poets of the New York School that they used the name Locus Solus for the title of the literary journal they collectively edited and published in the early 1960s (the cover of the first issue can be seen above).
I’m a scholar of modern and contemporary poetry who has spent many years reading, teaching, and writing about the New York School of poets. I have published extensively on Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch, Bernadatte Mayer, and other poets of the New York School and their influence (especially on later movements, like Language poetry). I’m the author of Beautiful Enemies: Friendship and Postwar American Poetry, which focuses on O’Hara, Ashbery, and Amiri Baraka, the recently published Attention Equals Life: The Pursuit of the Everyday in Contemporary Poetry and Culture (which features chapters on Schuyler and Bernadette Mayer), and many articles on New York School poetry and poetics.
This site (which I launched in 2013) came about because I’ve long felt the need for a place on the web that would be specifically devoted to collecting and aggregating information, scholarship, news, resources, and reflection on the New York School of poets, broadly defined. I’m not interested in reductively defining the “New York School” as a movement or narrowly limiting what gets posted here. I prefer to see the New York School as a very loose constellation of poets, artists, composers, etc., that spans several generations, and that has tentacles in many different spheres of culture and in different time periods.
My goal is to post links to and commentary on new essays, books, reviews, interviews, poems and volumes of poetry, performances, academic conferences, and any other signs of the New York School’s continuing existence as one of the most vital and influential artistic and literary movements of the past century.
If you’d like to alert me to anything that I may be interested in posting about, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting!