21 | 19

21 | 19: Contemporary Poets and the North American Nineteenth-Century, edited by Kristen Case and Alexandra Manglis

21 | 19

Contemporary Poets in the Nineteenth-Century Archive
"Editors Kristen Case and Alexandra Manglis suggest the ways poetry might be both agitator and balm in times of social crisis, as thirteen poets write about topics such as Poe and race, gun violence, and the Black pastoral.” —POETS & WRITERS
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The nineteenth century is often viewed as a golden age of American literature, a historical moment when national identity was emergent and ideals such as freedom, democracy, and individual agency were promising, even if belied in reality by violence and hypocrisy. The writers of this “American Renaissance”—Thoreau, Fuller, Whitman, Emerson, and Dickinson, among many others—produced a body of work that has been both celebrated and contested by following generations.

As the twenty-first century unfolds in a United States characterized by deep divisions, diminished democracy, and dramatic transformation of identities, this singular book asks a dozen North American poets to engage with texts by their predecessors in ways that avoid both aloofness from the past and too-easy elegy. The resulting essays dwell provocatively on the border between the lyrical and the scholarly, casting fresh critical light on the golden age of American literature and exploring a handful of texts not commonly included in its canon.

A polyvocal collection that reflects the complexity of the cross-temporal encounter it enacts, 21|19 offers a re-reading of the “American Renaissance” and new possibilities for imaginative critical practice today.

19th, 20th century, American, analysis, critical, criticism, cultural, culture, democracy, democratic, Dickinson, emerson, essays, freedom, history, issues, literary, literature, Nature, poems, poetics, poetry, politics, problems, scholarly, social, society, Thoreau, transcendentalists, values, Whitman
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6 × 8.5 × 0.75 in
12.2 oz

Alexandra Manglis is a coeditor of 21 | 19: Contemporary Poets in the Nineteenth-Century Archive. She is also a writer and and cofounder of the experimental poetry magazine Wave Composition. Her work has appeared in The Millions, the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Strange Horizons. She is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and holds a DPhil in English from the University of Oxford. She lives in Nicosia, Cyprus.


Kristen Case is a coeditor of 21 | 19: Contemporary Poets in the Nineteenth-Century Archive. She is also the author of American Pragmatism and Poetic Practice: Crosscurrents from Emerson to Susan Howe, as well as two collections of poems, Little Arias and Principles of Economics. She is also coeditor of Thoreau at 200: Essays and Reassessments and director of Thoreau’s Kalendar: A Digital Archive of the Phenological Manuscripts of Henry David Thoreau. She teaches at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she is director of the New Commons Project.

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