Alfred Corn - Corn's Work Relative To Other Literary "schools"

Corn's Work Relative To Other Literary "schools"

The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Princeton University Press, 1993) grouped Corn with poets who came to be known as the “New Formalists” (see New Formalism) but in fact Corn has never appeared in the anthologies associated with this group. On the other hand, a noticeable percentage of his poetry uses meter, rhyme, and verseform, and he has written a widely circulated introduction to English-language prosody, The Poem’s Heartbeat. The critic Robert K. Martin, in his The Homosexual Tradition in American Poetry (1979, revised 1998) placed Corn’s poetry in a line that begins with Whitman and continues through Crane, Merrill, and Thom Gunn to the present; and in fact Corn has appeared in several anthologies of gay poetry such as The World In Us (2000). But he has also appeared in more general anthologies such as The Norton Anthology of Poetry (Fourth and Fifth Edition, 1996 and 2005) and The Making Of a Poem (Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, 2000). Unusual for a poet, he has published one novel (favorably received by critic A.O. Scott in The Nation in a 1997 review) and several short stories; he has also written a second novel not yet scheduled for publication. Since the 1990s, he has been associated with poets like Marilyn Hacker, Sam Hamill, and Marie Ponsot, whose work reflects liberal and progressive political perspectives. Perhaps because he is hard to place in a single, simple category, Corn has not yet been the subject of a book-length critical study. He remains active as poet, critic, and fiction-writer, and the task of defining his achievement is still to be done.

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