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Avant-Folk: Small Press Poetry Networks from 1950 to the Present$
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Ross Hair

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781383292

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781383292.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Avant-Folk: Small Press Poetry Networks from 1950 to the Present

Ross Hair

Liverpool University Press

In this extended introduction, the book’s underlying theme of small press poetry networks is introduced via the example of Lorine Niedecker and her poetry’s transatlantic reception. Discussing examples from Niedecker’s poetry, her friendship with the poet Jonathan Williams, and her legacy for a younger generation of British poets, publishers, and artists, the introduction argues that within the transatlantic small press poetry milieu, ‘remoteness’ is as much a strategic position as it is an imposed circumstance. The introduction also discusses the various ways in which the term ‘folk’ is understood and applied in Avant-Folk. Emphasis is placed on the role of botanical folklore, the use of vernacular speech, and the significance of a ‘cottage-industry’ approach to publishing. In the context of modern small press publishing, the emphasis on craft and artisanship, it is argued, reasserts the domestic sphere as an incisive site for the poetry and publishing practices examined in the following chapters.

Keywords:   The Jargon Society, Lorine Niedecker, transatlantic poetry networks, botany, elsewhere communities

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