Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture

Dana Gioia’s book Disappearing Ink explores what happens to poetry in a culture that no longer depends on books? Gioia dismisses the standard clichés about poetry’s precarious place in a society transformed by electronic media. Looking at both the literary world and popular entertainment, Gioia’s provocative and original title essay offers a compelling account of how new technologies and innovative forms of oral poetry—rap, slam, spoken word, performance art—are revitalizing the art in unexpected ways.

In a brilliant array of essays that test the pulse of traditional and contemporary poetry, Gioia ponders the future of the written word and how it might find its most relevant incarnations.

With clarity, wit, and feisty intelligence that made Can Poetry Matter? one of the most important and controversial books about literature and contemporary American society, Gioia again demonstrates his unique gift of observation and uncanny prognostication to examine our complicated everyday relationship to art.


I. Disappearing Ink

Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture
The Hand of the Poet: The Magical Value of Manuscripts
Longfellow in the Aftermath of Modernism

II. West Coast Elegies

Fallen Western Star: The Decline of San Francisco as a Literary Region
Rexroth Rediscovered
Brother Beat
Jack Spicer and San Francisco’s Lost Bohemia
John Haines
Discovering Kay Ryan
The Cult of Weldon Kees
On Being a California Poet

III. “All I Have is a Voice”

“All I Have is a Voice”: September 11th and American Poetry
Two Views of Robert Frost
—The Life
—The Poetry
Elizabeth Bishop: From Coterie to Canon
Barbara Howes and the Eminent Sorority
The Journey of William Jay Smith
Short Views
—Donald Hall
—Philip Levine
—Peter Davison
—Randall Jarrell
—Janet Lewis
—Samuel Menashe
—Donald Justice
James Tate and American Surrealism
What is Italian American Poetry?
“Connect the Prose and the Passion”