Forms of Poetic Attention

Lucy Alford
Published in 2020
by Columbia University Press

“The way we attend to the world changes the world we perceive, and the world we perceive changes the way we attend.” Lucy Alford shifts away from the conventional perspective of poetic form as the product of technical devices and focuses on understanding the effects of poetry through the lens of the writer’s attention, making the case that the most integral aspect of creating poetry revolves around refining relationships to attention. Alford’s close readings and analyses of work by authors, including Al-Khansā’, A. R. Ammons, Charles Bukowski, Anne Carson, Paul Celan, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Audre Lorde, Stéphane Mallarmé, Harryette Mullen, and Claudia Rankine, demonstrate the uniqueness of attention required and produced by poetry, and offers writers a fresh angle with which to approach their own work.


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