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Carl Rakosi Biography

(1903–2004), Poetry, An ‘Objectivists’ Anthology, Selected Poems, Amulet, Ex Cranium, Night, History, Meditation, Collected Poems

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: David Rabe Biography to Rhinoceros (Rhinocéros)

American poet, born in Berlin; in 1910 he emigrated to the USA, where he was educated at the Universities of Wisconsin, Chicago, and Texas. In 1932 he began a career in social work and was Director of the Jewish Family and Children's Service in Minneapolis from 1945 to 1968. He has held numerous posts as a writer-in-residence. Rakosi was eminent among the Objectivist poets and was represented in the ‘Objectivists’ special issue of Poetry (1931) and An ‘Objectivists’ Anthology (1932), both edited by Louis Zukofsky. His early verse made highly selective and economical use of concrete detail to imply his underlying social concerns, in which he was immersed to an extent that curtailed his activities as a poet between 1941, when his Selected Poems appeared, and 1965. He has subsequently produced numerous collections, including Amulet (1967), Ex Cranium, Night (1975), History (1981), Meditation (1985), and Collected Poems (1986). Rakosi's later verse is noted for the mobility with which it covers a remarkable range of intellectual and perceptual registers; an equivalent flexibility of tone characteristically succeeds in uniting an essential seriousness with his idiosyncratic wit. Among his other works is the Collected Prose of 1984.

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