Barrett Watten (ad6155)

University information

Title: Professor
Unit: English
Department: College of Liberal Arts & Science

Contact information

2214 51 West Warren Ave.
Liberal Arts
Detroit, 48202

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Department: English
Title: Professor

9204.4 5057 Woodward


Barrett Watten is Professor of English at Wayne State University. He is the author of The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics (2004 René Wellek Prize, ACLA) and Questions of Poetics: Language Writing and Consequences (University of Iowa Press, 2016), as well as numerous volumes of poetry, including Frame (1971-1990), Bad History, and Progress/Under Erasure. With Carrie Noland, he co-edited Diasporic Avant-Gardes: Experimental Poetics and Cultural Displacement (Palgrave, 2008); and with Lyn Hejinian, he is coeditor of A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field, 1982-98 and Poetics Journal Digital Archive (Wesleyan University Press, 2013/15).

Research Interest/Area of Expertise:

20th/21st century literature; modernist and avant-garde studies; postmodern and millennial literature and culture; poetry and poetics; visual culture; digital culture. 

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications: PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1995
Awards and Grants:

Academy of Scholars, Wayne State University, 2014
Millay Colony Residency (Austerlitz, N.Y.), August 2010
Fulbright Senior Fellowship, Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany, Fall 2005
The René Wellek Prize, American Comparative Literature Association, 2004
Fellowship in Creative Writing, National Endowment for the Arts, 1979–80

Selected Publications:

Questions of Poetics: Language Writing and Consequences (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2016)
The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 2003)
Total Syntax (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985)

Poetics Journal Digital Archive, digital archive of Poetics Journal (1982-98), co-edited with Lyn Hejinian (Wesleyan University Press, 2015)
A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field, 1982–98, ed. with Lyn Hejinian (Wesleyan University Press, 2013)
Diasporic Avant-Gardes: Experimental Poetics and Cultural Displacement, ed. with Carrie Noland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
The Poetics of New Meaning, with introduction, Qui Parle (University of California, Berkeley) 12, no.2 (Spring/Summer 2001; appeared Fall 2001)

The Grand Piano: An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, San Francisco, 1975–1980, with Bob Perelman, Steve Benson, Carla Harryman, Tom Mandel, Ron Silliman, Kit Robinson, Lyn Hejinian, Rae Armantrout, and Ted Pearson, parts 1–9 (Detroit: Mode A, 2006–10)
Progress/Under Erasure (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2004)
Bad History (Berkeley, Calif.: Atelos Press, 1998; 2nd printing 2002)
Frame: 1971–1990 (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1997)
Under Erasure (Tenerife, Canary Is., Spain: Zasterle Press, 1991)
Leningrad: American Writers in the Soviet Union. With Ron Silliman, Lyn Hejinian, and Michael Davidson (San Francisco: Mercury House, 1991).
Progress (New York: Roof Books, 1985).
Complete Thought (Berkeley, Calif.: Tuumba, 1982).
1–10 (San Francisco: This Press, 1980).
Plasma/Paralleles/”X” (Berkeley, Calif.: Tuumba, 1979). Extended prose poems
Decay (San Francisco: This Press, 1977). Poetry
Opera—Works (Bolinas, Calif.: Big Sky Books, 1975). Poetry and prose

Poetics Journal 1–10, with Lyn Hejinian (1981–98)
This 1–12 (1971–82; with Robert Grenier, 1971–73)

Currently Teaching:

ENG 5450, Modern American Literature, "Modernism, Modernity, and the Question of Value," 3 credits, W19

ENG 3100, Introduction to the Literary Studies, "The New Presentism: Literature and Culture after the Millennium," 3 credits, W19

Courses taught:

English 7004, Theoretical Issues in Cultural Studies, “Questions of Unreason in Modern Cultures,” 3 credits, F18
English 8004, Seminar in Literature and Culture After 1870, “2049: The Present in Literature and Culture ‘After the End of History,’” 3 credits, W18
English 7033, Postmodernism and Postmodernity, “The Poetics of Value: Moderni-ty, Crisis, and the Work of Art,” 3 credits, W17
English 8001, Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies, “Global Modernity and the Transnational Imagination,” 3 credits, F15
English 6800, Advanced Creative Writing, “Poetry and Poetics,” 3 credits, F14
English 7033, Postmodernism and Postmodernity: “Forms of the Present in Post-1945 American Literature and Art,” 3 credits, W14

English 5860, Topics in Creative Writing, “Creative Foundations: Contemporary Forms and Critical Practice,” 3 credits, F18
English 4991/5992, Honors/Senior Seminar, “The Russian Connection,” 3 credits, F17
English 5695, Writing for Publication, “The Poetics of Print: Alternative Publishing in the Print/Digital Age,” 3 credits, F17
English 5860, Topics in Creative Writing, “Social Experiments: Writing After the Millennium,” 3 credits, W16
English 4991/5992, Honors/Senior Seminar, “Selfies: The Millennial Condition in Literature and Culture,” 3 credits, W16
English 5565, Postmodernism, “Zero Hour and After: Post-1945 Literature and Culture,” 3 credits, W15
English 5450, Modern American Literature, “Social Formations: Modernist Isms and Nexuses, 1910–Present,” 3 credits, ?W14

English 3140, Survey of American Literature, 3 credits, W15
English 3100, Introduction to Literary Studies, 3 credits, W18, W 16, F14

Barrett Watten

Return to Search