Book Excerpt! Poetry Unbound, By Mike Chasar (introduction)

By disclosing what are at once poetry’s most inscrutable and its most public aspects, Chasar reorients our understanding of poetry’s relation to the media, throwing gasoline on the fire of a question we have dodged for too long: what is a poem? The old answers to that query won’t hold up in the wake of Chasar’s attention to the vulgar afterlives of bookish things.

~Daniel Tiffany, author of My Silver Planet: A Secret History of Poetry and Kitsch

In Poetry Unbound: Poems and New Media from the Magic Lantern to Instagram, Chasar follows poetry’s travels off the page into new media formats, including silent film, social media, and television. Mass and nonprint media have not stolen poetry’s audience, he contends, but have instead given people even more ways to experience poetry. In this excerpt, Chasar introduces the idea that “poetry travels more easily than any other art,” as poet Harriet Monroe wrote, and discusses the ways in which this transpires.

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