This group will be co-convened by Joe Donahue and Nate Mackey.

As in years past, this group will explore contemporary trends in poetry and poetic theory, which includes working group meetings and a reading series with invited poets from across the country that speak to a thematic focus. The emphasis for this year’s group will be Breaking Ground / Breaking Forms. The nature of this designation will make it possible for the group to engage with potential relationships between contemporary poetry and concepts of form, formlessness, and precarity.

Specific attention for this focus will be paid to the work of female identified and non-binary poets in an effort to highlight marginalized and underrepresented authors currently “breaking ground” in contemporary poetry. Already plans exist for hosting a set of events that draw poetry into relation to disciplines including Urban Studies, Religious Studies, Art History, Visual/Film Studies, Gender and Feminist Studies, and potentially related theories pertaining to the study of poetry and poetics. Visiting writers will be selected on the grounds of their applicability to the given topic and discussion meetings will be organized around the prospect of drawing the work of the visiting writer into conversation with current scholarship from a field other than strict literary analysis. Working group meetings will be organized around these visiting writer events, in an effort to foster discussion about current trends in contemporary poetry as well as pique interest in the visiting readers’ events.