Roots and Routes: Poetics at New College of California is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of a vital time and place in the development of American poetry in the last decades of the last century. It makes available the writings of a range of poets who all either passed through the creative vortex that was the New College, one of the liveliest and most innovative attempts to ground the art of poetry in the true fullness and depths of what the art has done and what it might yet do. One of the great poets of the age, an autodidact, a monumental talker, and inspired teacher, was deeply involved in the vision of what an education in the art of poetry entailed. Robert Duncan, along with David Meltzer and Dianne Di Prima, and fellow New College Poetics Program founders Louis Patler and Duncan McNaughton, brought critical daring, deep research,...

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