While living in rural Wisconsin, Lorine Niedecker encountered haiku through her correspondence with Cid Corman, an American poet living in Japan, and wrote a series of distinctive five-line poems that she published under the title “In Exchange for Haiku.” At around the same time, Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay began decades of mailing his printed visual poems to friends on both sides of the Atlantic from his “avant-garden” in the Pentland Hills outside Edinburgh. A bit later, after being active in the Women's Rights Movement and studying at the New School in NYC, besmilr brigham retreated to a reclusive life in the Arkansas Ozarks, a place Frank Stanford also lived and wrote. Stanford's poems explore the Ozarks and the Mississippi River Delta region where he spent his childhood.
This panel considers the work of Niedecker, Finlay, Stanford, brigham and other twentieth-century poets who lived outside of cities and looks at how they built communities and discovered sources of inspiration and influence through written correspondence. Panelists Adam Clay, Bronwen Tate, Matthew Henriksen, and MC Hyland will also discuss challenges to poetic engagement for rural poets that persist despite—or even as a result of—an increasingly networked world.