Prof. Lucy Alford (Wake Forest University) will present her new book, Forms of Poetic Attention (Columbia University Press, 2020).
The book was first conceived as Prof. Alford’s dissertation during her time as a PhD student here at Stanford, and we are excited to bring it back to the Workshop and hear more about the intellectual journey that led it to its final form. Lorenzo Bartolucci will provide a response, followed by questions and an open discussion of the book.
Forms of Poetic Attention examines the forms of attention both required and produced in poetic language, bringing both philosophical and cognitive inquiry into conversation with the inner workings of specific poems. It makes the claim that poetry’s primary medium is attention, and that the forms of attention demanded by poetry can train, hone, and refine our capacities for perception and judgment, on and off the page. Chapters constellate readings of modern and contemporary American poets such as Emily Dickinson, Frank O’Hara, Anne Carson, and Claudia Rankine with those of earlier and nonwestern poets to explore modes of attention such as contemplation, desire, recollection, vigilance, and boredom across historical contexts.
For more information and to purchase a copy of the book, see the following link: https://cup.columbia.edu/book/forms-of-poetic-attention/9780231187541
Lucy Alford is an assistant professor in the English department at Wake Forest University. She specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century American poetry and poetics, as well as transnational and trans-historical poetries in English, French, German, and Arabic. As both a practicing poet and teacher of poetry, Prof. Alford is particularly interested in sensory life, experimentation, and the roles of habit, constraint, and play in creative processes. Her research and teaching center on poetry’s intersections with lived, attentive experience. Her work investigates the object, act, and event of literature as a site of complex ethical and epistemological dynamics, and the relationships between poetry and other media such as music, dance, film, and the visual arts.
To receive PDFs of the introduction and one of the chapters, please email Lorenzo Bartolucci.
Register in advance to receive Zoom details.