Berkeley Poetry Conference 2015

Charles Altieri
UC Berkeley

Fifty years after the landmark Berkeley Poetry Conference of 1965, built out of Donald Allen’s New American Poetry anthology, we wanted to commemorate this moment in American poetic history by honoring its concern for the future of poetry. We invited roughly 25 poet-critics to give public readings and discuss four topics in a range of settings. The general headings for discussion were: “Poetry and the Rhetoric of Crisis,” “Poetry and Digital Culture,” “Poetry and Social Participation,” and “Lyric Subjectivity, Psychology, and Production.” We saw the conference as a two-fold opportunity to introduce new discourses for thinking about the socio-political relevance of poetic thinking and production and to reflect on how the practice of poetry had shifted over the intervening years.