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FURTHER READING
Related Prose
Finding the Phenomenal Oppen
by Forrest Gander
Groundbreaking Book: "A" by Louis Zukofsky (1978)
Groundbreaking Book: Of Being Numerous by George Oppen (1968)
Modern American Poetry: the Objectivists
by Elaine Equi
Who Was Lorine Niedecker?
by Elizabeth Willis
Related Authors
Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Born in 1894, in Brooklyn, New York, Charles Reznikoff is the author of several collections of poetry and was a principal proponent of Objectivism...
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George Oppen
George Oppen
Born in 1908, George Oppen was known for both his poetry and his political activism, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969...
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Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
Born in South Bend, Indiana, in 1905, Kenneth Rexroth is the author of several collections of poetry and became known as the "father of the Beats"...
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William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
Poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright William Carlos Williams is often said to have been one of the principal poets of the Imagist movement...
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A Brief Guide to the Objectivists

 

The designation "Objectivists" was made in 1931 when Louis Zukofsky edited the February issue of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse at the urging of Ezra Pound. The magazine contained the work of Zukofsky himself, Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, George Oppen, Basil Bunting, William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Rexroth, and many lesser-known poets. The name came about because of Harriet Monroe's (the then-editor of Poetry) request for a group title. As is often the case, the group name was more a matter of convenience to describe the poets' connections to one another than it was a consciously set forward program.

Zukofsky describes the founding of Objectivism in Prepositions:

"When I was a kid I started the Objectivist movement in poetry. There were a few poets who felt sympathetic towards each other and Harriet Monroe at the time insisted, we'd better have a title for it, call it something. I said, I don't want to. She insisted; so, I said, alright, if I can define it in an essay, and I used two words, sincerity and objectification, and I was sorry immediately. But it's gone down into the history books; they forgot the founder, thank heavens, and kept the terms, and, of course, I said objectivist, and they said objectivism and that makes all the difference. Well, that was pretty bad, so then I spent the next thirty years trying to make it simple."



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