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Bob Perelman Biography

(1947– ), Hills, Writing/Talks, Face Value, The Trouble with Genius, rapprochement

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Cynthia Ozick Biography to Ellis Peters Biography

American poet, born in Youngstown, Ohio, educated at the University of Michigan and the Ohio Writers' Workshop; after various jobs he took a Ph.D. and became a Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He was editor of Hills magazine and the centrally important series of Talks at the Langton Street Gallery, some of which are collected in Hills (1981) and Writing/Talks (1985). He writes poetry with an acute sense of poetic traditions both modern and classical, and some of the most amusing satires on contemporary ideologies of wealth, innovation, and power. Echoing Alexander Pope, he begins ‘The Family of Man’ saying: ‘Hey I know one: The proper study of mankind is what? | Why is there money, Daddy? And why is there daddy, Money?’ (Face Value, 1988). These concerns are also evident in his major study of the cult of genius in modernist poetry, The Trouble with Genius (1994), where he argues for a rapprochement between the writing and critical reading of poetry. See also Language Poetry.

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