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Charles Olson

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Charles Olson
Born(1910-12-27)27 December 1910
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died10 January 1970(1970-01-10) (aged 59)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeGloucester, Massachusetts
EducationWesleyan University B.A., 1932; M.A., 1933
Harvard University Graduate work in American Studies, 1936-1939
Literary movementPostmodernism
Notable worksThe Distances, The Maximus Poems
SpouseConstance (Connie) Wilcock, Elizabeth (Betty) Kaiser
ChildrenKatherine, Charles Peter
RelativesKarl (father), Mary Hines (mother)

Charles Olson (December 27, 1910 – January 10, 1970) was an American poet.

Olson was born and grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, where his father worked as a mail carrier.[1]

He went to college at Wesleyan University, where he got his B. A. degree in 1932. He got his M. A.degree there in 1933. For that degree Olson wrote about Herman Melville. He got a Guggenheim fellowship to help him go on studying Melville.[1] During most of World War II, he worked for the Office of War Information as assistant chief of the Foreign Language Division. He worked for the Democratic Party in 1944.[2][3]

He was the leader of Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1951 to its close in 1956. While there he got to know and effect other poets such as Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, and Denise Levertov. He called his kind of poetry "Projective Verse". In this, the poem would be an energy shaped by the natural breath and thought of the speaking poet.[1][4]

From 1963 to 1965 he taught at the State University of New York, Buffalo. Then he moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts where he worked on his very long project, The Maximus Poems.[3]

Olson died from cancer in 1970.[2]

  • Call Me Ishmael. (1947)
  • Projective Verse Poetry New York #3 (1950)
  • In Cold Hell, In Thicket (1953)
  • The Distances. (1960)
  • Human Universe and Other Essays, ed. Donald Allen (1965)
  • Selected Writings, ed. Robert Creeley (1966)
  • The Maximus Poems 1-10 (1953)
  • The Maximus Poems 11-22 (1956)
  • The Maximus Poems [Volume I] (1960)
  • Maximus Poems IV, V, VI (1968)
  • The Special View of History, ed. Ann Charters (1970)
  • Archaeologist of Morning (1970)
  • The Maximus Poems: Volume Three (1975)
  • The Fiery Hunt and Other Plays (1977)
  • The Maximus Poems, ed. George Butternick (1983).
  • The Collected Poems of Charles Olson: Excluding The Maximus Poems, ed. George Butternick (1987)
  • A Nation of Nothing but Poetry: Supplementary Poems, ed. George Butternick (1989)
  • Collected Prose, eds. Donald Allen & Benjamin Friedlander (1997)
  • Muthologos: Lectures and Interviews, ed. Ralph Maud (2010)
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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "About Charles Olson | Academy of American Poets". poets.org. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Chronology of Charles Olson's life and work 1". charlesolson.org. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Everett and Gilbert (2013). "Olson, Charles". Oxford Reference - The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  4. Hart and Leininger (1995). "Olson, Charles". Oxford Reference - The Oxford Companion to American Literature. Retrieved February 16, 2023.

Other websites

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