I'll say that this is probably the best time for poetry since the T'ang dynasty. All the rest of the world is going to school on American poetry in the twentieth century, from Ezra Pound to W. S. Merwin, and for very good reason. We have soaked up influence in the last century like a sponge. It's cross-pollination, first law of biology, that the more variety you have the more health you have.
The Astonishment Tapes will now take its place within the growing field of international research about postwar American poetry's important contribution to world literature. Miriam Nichols has once again done exceptional scholarship.
American poetry has been part of a culture in conflict....We are a people tending toward democracy at the level of hope; at another level, the economy of the nation, the empire of business within the republic, both include in their basic premise the idea of perpetual warfare
What I discerned in the U.S. was a convergence of poetic voices coming from many different rents in the social fabric, many cultures, many tributaries, which, together, make up the American poetry of the late twentieth century.