Charles Olson's and Dorothy Nimmo's Lives and Poetry

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  • Topic: Writing, Friends meeting house, Charles Olson
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  • Published : April 4, 2013
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Charles Olson
* (1910-70), was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, and educated at Wesleyan University and Harvard, where he studied American civilization * he worked for the Democratic Party and for the Office of War information as assistant chief of the Foreign Language Division * he was studying Mayan hieroglyphics, cover a range of subjects--mythology, anthropology, language, and cultural history--and use the fervent informal style that were to distinguish all his discursive prose * In the "projective," or "open," verse it recommends, which aims to transfer energy from the world to the reader without artificial interference, syntax is shaped by sound, not sense; sense is conveyed by direct movement from one perception to another, not rational argument; and the reader's rendition directed by freely varied spacing between words and lines on the page * is less formally innovative but more ambitious in treating personal dreams and universal myths * opinion: all adequate literature "must communicate a new sense with old words * Olson's poems mix rhetorical directness with an enigmatic generality Dorothy Nimmo

was born in Manchester in 1932 and died in Yorkshire in May 2001. She published six books of poems and three pamphlets; and she wrote and published short-stories. In 1996 she received a Cholmondeley Award. Her book The Children's Game (Smith/Doorstop, 1998) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her last book was The Wigbox: New & Selected Poems (Smith/Doorstop, 2000), and for the back of it, she provided this biog note: ‘Dorothy Nimmo was an actress for ten years, a wife-and-mother for 25. In 1980 she started to write; in 1989 she ran away from home. She is currently caretaker of Settle Friends Meeting House.’ Nimmo was not a prolific poet, and she published less than she wrote. A pamphlet was published in Lancaster by Brazen Voices in 1984, A Woman’s Work (priced at 50p). In 1987, Graham Mort brought out...
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