Bop Prosody, Jazz, and the Practice of Spontaneous Poetics
This study, “Bop Prosody, Jazz, and the Practice of Spontaneous Poetics,” explores the disparate concepts of jazz poetry while explaining the distinctions between the terms stated in the title. Through close readings of Hayden Carruth’s collection of jazz essays in Sitting In and through the writings of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and others, to write poetry as a jazz musician creates a musical improvisation is a “practice” more akin to Zen meditation than to traditional prosody. The terms bop prosody or spontaneous poetics represent the writer’s attempt at capturing the purity of spontaneous emotion in a literary medium similar to the improvisation method of a jazz musician. — Albert DeGenova
editors note: please click the following Albert DeGenova photo portrait to read the entire essay as an pdf (34 pages) or just click here…
grew up in Chicago and now lives with his family in Oak Park, Illinois. From 1978-1980 he was an editor of the Oyez Review (published by Roosevelt University); in June of 2000 he launched the literary/arts journal After Hours, for which he continues as publisher and editor. DeGenova is half of the performance poetry duo AvantRetro which appears throughout the greater Chicago/Midwest area. His book, Back Beat (a collection of poetry combined with memoir tracing the influences of the Beat movement on two contemporary poets), was co-authored with poet Charles Rossiter and published by Cross+Roads Press in 2001 (a second edition was released in June 2006 by Fractal Edge Press). Of Back Beat, Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote, “Back Beat beats everything for being beater than the Beats.” DeGenova received his MFA in Writing from Spalding University, Louisville. He is a blues saxophonist and one-time contributing editor to Down Beat magazine.