Session Title

"The Grail Is the Opposite of Poetry": The Medieval Coterie in Jack Spicer's The Holy Grail (A Performance and Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

eth press

Organizer Name

Daniel Remein, Chris Piuma

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Massachusetts-Boston, Univ. of Toronto

Presider Name

Chris Piuma

Paper Title 1

Spicer’s Grail in the Boston Public Library

Presenter 1 Name

Alex Mueller

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Massachusetts-Boston

Paper Title 2

Discussant

Presenter 2 Name

Laurie A. Finke

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Kenyon College

Paper Title 3

Discussant

Presenter 3 Name

Martin B. Shichtman

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Eastern Michigan Univ.

Paper Title 4

Discussant

Presenter 4 Name

Daniel Remein

Start Date

14-5-2016 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1280

Description

Jack Spicer—a key mid-twentieth–century poet and a member of the “Berkeley Renaissance”—drew upon his obsession with Arthurian romance and the logic he saw in that tradition when he wrote his serial poem The Holy Grail (1962). The book consists of seven poems (“The Book of Percival”, “The Book of Gwenivere”, and the like), each in seven parts. It is clearly a “medievalist” poem, but it is one that is not particularly “driven by the nostalgia of popular culture”, as Nickolas Haydock has said of movie medievalism. However, because scholars of the middle ages have largely ignored the poem, there has not been an adequate examination of the nature of the poetic medievalism at play in the poem and how it might help us think with the medieval texts. This session will include recordings of the poet reading the text, as well as scholars working on medieval (and later) Arthurian literature and on the unexpected ways Spicer and the poets in his circle drew upon medieval texts more generally.

Daniel Remein

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May 14th, 10:00 AM

"The Grail Is the Opposite of Poetry": The Medieval Coterie in Jack Spicer's The Holy Grail (A Performance and Roundtable)

Schneider 1280

Jack Spicer—a key mid-twentieth–century poet and a member of the “Berkeley Renaissance”—drew upon his obsession with Arthurian romance and the logic he saw in that tradition when he wrote his serial poem The Holy Grail (1962). The book consists of seven poems (“The Book of Percival”, “The Book of Gwenivere”, and the like), each in seven parts. It is clearly a “medievalist” poem, but it is one that is not particularly “driven by the nostalgia of popular culture”, as Nickolas Haydock has said of movie medievalism. However, because scholars of the middle ages have largely ignored the poem, there has not been an adequate examination of the nature of the poetic medievalism at play in the poem and how it might help us think with the medieval texts. This session will include recordings of the poet reading the text, as well as scholars working on medieval (and later) Arthurian literature and on the unexpected ways Spicer and the poets in his circle drew upon medieval texts more generally.

Daniel Remein