Charles Olson (1910-1970)

A selective list of open access articles on American poet Charles Olson, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars, articles published in peer and editor reviewed sources, and web sites that adhere to the MLA Guidelines for Web Sites

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literary criticism

Allen, Donald and Benjamin Friedlander (eds.) In a review of The Collected Prose of Charles Olson John Palattella discusses the challenges of reading Charles Olson, "the first postmodern writer." Boston Review, February/ March 1998 (moved).

Anastas, Peter (ed.), foreword by Gerrit Lansing. Review of Maximus to Gloucester: The Letter and Poems of Charles Olson to the Gloucester Times, 1962 - 1969 A review of an unusual publishing project, the publication of Olson's letters to the Gloucester Daily Times from 1962 until his final letter in 1969 when, embittered and aware of his impending death, he was still trying to encourage people to create their own mythology out of the material at hand. The book is important, says reviewer Karl Young, because "it firmly and irrefutably throws the emphasis of Olson's work back on the local." American Book Review, August-September, 1993.

Bezner, Kevin. "A Location Constantly Reoccurring: Creeley, Olson, and the Genesis of Black Mountain Poetry." Oyster Boy Review, 1999.

Creeley, Robert. Preface to Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet’s Life. Poet Robert Creeley reflects on the aims he shared with Charles Olson. Jacket 12 (July 2000).

Creeley, Robert (ed.) Review of Charles Olson. Selected Poems (Univ. of California Press, 1993.) A review of Robert Creeley's new selection of Charles Olson's poems notes that the reception of Olson has suffered because of Olson's posture as public moralist. Creeley corrects the picture with a more rounded selection of Olson's poetry. Reviewed by Peter Quartermain in the Durham U Journal (March 1995).

Foley, Jack. "Projective Verse At Fifty." On the decision by the editors of Poems for the Millennium not to anthologize Charles Olson's often-anthologized article "Projective Verse," and whether Olson's theories have fundamentally shaped twentieth century poetics. From

Gümüþbaþ, Barýþ. On the interaction between politics, economics, and the poetical in Charles Olson's works, particularly in The Maximus Poems. "Charles Olson's Poetical Economy," in Journal of American Studies of Turkey 5 (1997).

Lawrence, Nick. "Olson's Republic" Essay on the political in Charles Olson, by poet Nick Lawrence.

McClure, Michael. Poet Michael McClure discusses Projective Verse in an interview with Jack Foley, in The Alsop Review. Another interview.


An introduction to Charles Olson which includes reliable articles on Olson's life and poetry; On "Variations Done for Gerald Van De Wiele"; On "Cole's Island"; On Charles Olson--by Robert Creeley; and Olson Book Jackets. From Modern American Poetry (U of Illinois).

An introductory article on Charles Olson's career, discusses his techniques and ideas, and includes samples of his poems, from the Poetry Foundation.

"Charles Olson." An introduction from educational publisher Heath.

A newsletter article describes a 1995 tribute to Charles Olson in Gloucester, Mass. Panel members Robert Creeley, Vincent Ferrini, Hettie Jones, Jean Kaiser, Ingeborg Lauterstein, and Edward Sanders offered recollections. By Loss Pequeño Glazier, Poetry Project Newsletter.

Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place. An independent film by Henry Ferrini, includes video.

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