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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

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Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Everyday Reading is the first full-length critical study of the culture surrounding American popular and commercial poetry in the twentieth century. Exploring poetry scrapbooks, old-time radio show recordings, advertising verse, corporate archives, and Hallmark greeting cards, among other unconventional sources, Mike Chasar casts American poetry as an everyday phenomenon consumed and created by a vast range of readers in different and complex ways. Capturing American poetry's truly diverse forms and appeal, Chasar shows how the genre helped set the stage — before television, rock music, video games, and the Internet — for the dynamics of popular culture and mass media today.

Chasar investigates twentieth-century American poetry's audience of millions and maps its range of aesthetics, cultural uses, relationship to canonical verse, and unexpected presence in many parts of modern life. Far from being a marginal art form read by a select group of educated individuals, poetry was part and parcel of American popular culture, spreading rapidly as the consumer economy expanded and companies such as Burma-Shave exploited the form's profit-making potential. Poetry also offered ordinary Americans a wealth of opportunities for creative, emotional, political, and intellectual expression, whether through scrapbooking, participation in radio programs, or poetry contests. By reenvisioning the uses of twentieth-century poetry, Chasar enables a richer understanding of the innovations of modernist and avant-garde poets and the American reading public's sophisticated powers of feeling and perception.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780231158657
Author:
Chasar, Mike
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20121131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism

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