Poetry. Cultural Writing. The poem looks back on the decades previous to the first Gulf War and forwards--toward a duration of events, which, because the poem is in history, do not cease to occur. In a famous modern definition, an epic poem is a poem including history. In Barret Watten's BAD HISTORY, history includes the poem. The poem, too, becomes the event of its own recording. Watten is the co-editor of POETICS JOURNAL and author of TOTAL SYNTAX, essays on modern and contemporary poetics, as well as the long poems PROGRESS and UNDER ERASURE. He teaches modernism and cultural studies at Wayne State University in Detroit.
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