George Oppen, a crucial figure in the founding of the Objectivist poetry movement, is considered by many critics and poets to be one of the foremost innovators of 20th-century American poetry. Oppen's Of Being Numerous won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1969, and his influence on subsequent generations of poets has been profound.
The contributors to this unique collection of essays are both poets and critics who adopt a variety of critical stances. Some write as fellow poets who knew Oppen well during his lifetime and who have been deeply influenced by his example in their own work. Others write as poet-critics affiliated with the Language Poetry movement and bring to Oppen's work a keen appreciation for its relevance to contemporary avant-garde poetics. Still others come to Oppen as members of a younger generation of readers and writers working to articulate a new stage in Oppen's reception. The result is a rich and productive critical dialogue, touching on many of the most significant facets of Oppen's life and work. Thinking Poetics is a testament to Oppen's place in 20th and 21st-century poetic culture and an essential volume for anyone interested in Oppen's life or poetry.