"Tom Raworth Between Two Avant-Gardes: The New

Brian Reed
"Tom Raworth Between Two Avant-Gardes: The New
American Poetry and the British Poetry Revival"
During the 1960s and 70s, Tom Raworth's poetry, travels, and publication work made
him one of the principle bridges between the U.S. and British poetic avant-gardes.
This paper will examine his formal dialogue with the New American Poetry from his
undergraduate verse to his invention of his own, signature, mature style, the "long
skinny" poem that combines short line length (often no more than a word or two) with
a substantial page count (often an entire book). Raworth, we will see, adapts Robert
Creeley's technique of negative seriality to produce a form that emphasizes not the
materiality of words as such but rather a reader's active, conjectural ("intuitive"),
interpetive engagement with language's unfolding.