Projective Verse is an essay written by Charles Olson, an American poet, in 1950.1 It was seen as an important reference point for American and British poets alike throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In Projective Verse Olson asserts a new direction for poetry, one that prioritizes the syllable and the line over the image or the symbol. Olson called the type of poetry that he proposes in the essay field composition,2 now more commonly referred to as free verse. Olson became rector at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1951. In his time there Black Mountain became a point of focus for many poets, often termed after Olsons essay as The Projectivists, such as Robert Creeley. Although Black Mountain College was only open for 23 years, its innovative liberal arts curriculum arguably helped give birth to a wave of avant-garde and postmodern artists and writers in 1960s America.
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