Utopocalyptic Moments: Objectivist Poetics
a talk by Michael Heller

March 20, 1998

Michael Heller tells us that "Utopocalyptic" is his "made-up name for a sense of uncertainty, for that odd socio-political or cultural
product, both fever and exacerbation, in which an individual is torn between idealized hopes and gnawing dread. My discussion focuses on the poetics of Zukofsky, Oppen and other poets as utopocalyptic responses to the socio-political and aesthetic pressures of the Thirties." Michael Heller is a full time faculty member at New York University. He is the author of Conviction's Net of Branches: Essays on the Objectivist Poets and Poetry (Southern Illinois University Press, 1985) and the editor of Carl Rakosi: Man and Poet (National Poetry Foundation, 1985). As a poet, he is the author of six fine books including the most recent, Wordflow: New and Selected Poems (Talisman House, 1997).