Illuminations: A Series on American Poetics

Series Editor
Jon Thompson, North Carolina State University

Since the period of high modernism, American poetic practice has sought nothing less than a revolution in poetry. The new language, rhetoric and form of the poetry of William Carlos Williams, T.S Eliot, Ezra Pound, Mina Loy, H.D., Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens released new energies and new (or dramatically different hybrid) poetic practices. These practices were taken up, and extended, in successive generations by Louis Zukofsky, George Oppen, Lorine Niedecker, Charles Olson, Frank O'Hara, James Schulyer and John Ashbery. More recently, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jorie Graham, Charles Wright, C.D. Wright, Susan Howe, Myung Mi Kim, Harryette Mullen and Claudia Rankine, to name just a few, have pushed this tradition of transformative practice and claimed new territories for poetry. As these names suggest, this tradition continues to be influential inside the English-speaking world, and outside it. Bearing in mind this legacy of innovation, Illuminations will focus on the poetics and poetic practices of the contemporary moment in the USA. The series is particularly keen to promote a set of reflective works that include, but go beyond, traditional academic prose, so we take Walter Benjamin's rich, poetic essays published under the title of Illuminations as an example of the kind of approach we most value. Collectively, the titles published in this series aim to help various audiences engage in a dialogue that will reimagine the field of contemporary American poetics. Accordingly, the series is looking to publish in the following areas:

  • Autobiographical essays
  • Biographical essays
  • Craft essays
  • Hybrid essays
  • Discussions of poetry & pedagogy
  • Essays on poetics & poetic practices
  • Essays on form
  • Essays on poetics & politics
  • Essays on poetic traditions & genealogies
  • Discussions of race, ethnicity & poetry
  • Discussions of gender & poetry
  • Discussions of poetry & place
  • Essays on poetry & contemporary culture
  • Discussions of aesthetics
  • Comparative poetics
  • Multimedia projects

Illuminations will be looking for books shorter than the traditional academic monograph—books around one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five pages in print. Please submit a 1–2 page description of your book and a finished manuscript in the month of May each year to Submittable. Writers may expect a response within six months.

Click on this Submit button between May 1 and May 31 each year to visit the Illuminations submission interface at Submittable:

Books in the Series

Prose Poetry and the City by Donna Stonecipher (2017)