LZ Online

For readers new to Zukofsky, the following links offer places to start:

Scroggins, Mark. “Louis Zukofsky.”
[A biographical essay. The Modern American Poetry page on LZ also offers diverse commentary on “To my wash-stand” and “‘Mantis’”].

Poetry Foundation. Louis Zukofsky 1904-1978.
[An introductory article with links to an overview of LZ’s publications in Poetry magazine with slideshow of images and to an introductory talk by Mark Scroggins emphasizing LZ’s Jewish context and relations].

USA: Poetry, National Educational Television (March 1966). Half an hour program on LZ, as well as another from outtakes of this program (1978). See LZ Readings and Recordings for links.


For anyone specifically studying the “Objectivists,” there are two outstanding dissertations that offer a plethora of information and documentation about the poets and their publishing activities. Unfortunately, for Zukofsky studies (but probably for the good of their well-being), both authors chose not to pursue academic careers; fortunately, however, they have put their work online:

Tom Sharp. “Objectivists” 1927-1934: A Critical History of the Work and Association of Louis Zukofsky, William Carlos Williams, Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, Ezra Pound, and George Oppen. 1983, rev. 2015. This can be read online or downloaded.

Steel Wagstaff. The “Objectivists”: A Website Dedicated to the Objectivist Poets. 2018. The dissertation version can be downloaded as well [unfortunately Wagstaff did not get around to filling out his intentions in the LZ section; nevertheless there is a wealth of associative and background information]. 


PennSound has an extensive collection of recordings by LZ (see details at Recordings by LZ page).

The Beinecke Library at Yale University has an online exhibition on “American Translators” curated by Nancy Kuhl, with a section on LZ that includes a typescript of “Catullus LXV” with related correspondence and other documents. The Beinecke’s Digital Collections include considerable materials related to LZ, particularly the correspondences with EP and WCW, much of it viewable online.

Also from the Beinecke Library there is a substantial amount of archival materials now available online, which include the bulk of LZ’s letters to WCW, EP’s letters to LZ (only one letter by LZ to EP), and small groups of LZ letters to Furioso, T. C. Wilson and Harry Roskolenko.


Online essays, papers and talks on LZ

Abend-David, Dror. “Man Engendered: Effeminizing Louis Zukofsky.” CUJHSS [Cankaya University Journal of Humantities and Social Sciences, Ankara, Turkey] 13.2 (Dec. 2019): 123-124.

Amato, Joe. “Richard Powers after Louis Zukofsky: A Prospectus of the Sky” (1997).

Bernstein, Charles. “Introduction toLouis Zukofsky: Selected Poems” (American Poets Project of the Library of America, 2006), in Jacket 30 (July 2916).

___. “Doubletalking the Homophonic Sublime: Comedy, Appropriation, and the Sounds of One Hand Clapping.” Sound/Writing – traduire-écrire entre le son et le sens: Homophonic translation – traducson – Oberflächenübersetzung, eds. Vincent Broqua & Dirk Weissman. Éditions des archives contemporaines, 2019 [discusses LZ within the context of a critical survey of homophonic translations].

Bondroit, Benoît, with Carla Harryman, Bob Perelman & Barrett Watten. “Language Writing and Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’-24: Three Interviews.” Transatlantica: American Studies Journal 1 (2022).

Eastman, Andrew. “Estranging the Classic: The Zukofskys’Catullus.” La Revue LISA VII.2 (U of Caen, France 2009). [excellent consideration of Catullus].

Filreis, Al. Poem Talk #22 on “Anew 12” [“It’s hard to see but think of a sea”]. Moderated by Al Filreis with Charles Bernstein, Wystan Curnow and Bob Perlman.
Jacket 2 has an edited transcript of this talk.
Also a brief followup comment, “Poetic Electricity,” by poet and engineer Aryanil Mukherfee.
And a further followup discussion by the Jacket 2Poetry and Science Panelists, Gilbert Adair, Peter Middleton, Rae Armantrout, James Harvey, Amy Catanzano and Joan Retallack.

Finkelstein, Norman and Harvey Shapiro. “Discussion on Objectivist Poets.” Moderated by Bob Perelman. PennSound (2005).

Foley, Jack. “Taking Liberties: Louis Zukofsky.” Contemporary Poetry Review (2007). [review of Selected Poems].

Gallagher, Ryan. “Notes on Translating: Beginning with some thoughts on Zukofsky’s Shakespeare and Catullus.” Exquisite Corpse 9 (Summer 2001).

Grenier, Robert. “Memorial Day Meditation on two lines from Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’-22.” Eclipse.

Grumman, Bob. “M@h*(pOet)?ica—Louis Zukofsky’s Integral.” Scientific American (22 Sept. 2012).

Gyorgy, Andras. “‘Light lights in air’: Value, Price, Profit and Louis Zukofsky’s Poetry.” World Socialist Web Site (3 Feb. 2016) [introductory overview from a Trotskyite perspective].

Heller, Michael. “Lecture on Louis Zukofsky at Naropa Institute,” 2 parts. PennSound (1987).

Ivry, Jonathan. “A Poet.” Tablet Magazine (2009) [overview].

Jesse, Tom. “Kenneth Burke, Louis Zukofsky and the Comic Framing of ‘A’-23.” (2013).

Johnson, Ronald, David Levi-Strauss & Michael Palmer. “Syntax as Music,” Presentation on Zukofsky at SPD, 22 April 1988. PennSound.

Jones, Peter. “Louis Zukofsky.” Poetry Nation (London) 5 (1975).

Kalck, Xavier. “The Question of Sincerity in Objectivist Poetry.” GRAAT 8 (Aug. 2010).

___. “Formalism as Mysticism: Reading Jewish American Poets Louis Zukofsky and Charles Reznikoff.” Anglophonia/Caliban 35 (2014).

Lang, Abigail. “The Ongoing French Reception of the Objectivists.” Transatlantica: American Studies Journal 1 (2016).

___. “To ‘tune in’ to the human tradition: Louis Zukofsky’s Homophonic Practice.” Sound/Writing – traduire-écrire entre le son et le sens: Homophonic translation – traducson – Oberflächenübersetzung, eds. Vincent Broqua & Dirk Weissman. Éditions des archives contemporaines, 2019.

Lanz, Alex. “Lous Zukofsky’s “Little / for careenagers.” (2023).

Lewis, Leon. “Aural Invention as Floral Splendor: Louis Zukofsky’s Vision of Natural Beauty in 80 Flowers.” The Writer’s Chronicle 40.4 (Feb. 2008): 24-29.

Lyons, Graham. “Citation as Explanation: Walter Benjamin and Louis Zukofsky, Colporteurs.” Jacket 36 (2008).

Melnick, David. “The ‘Ought’ of Seeing: Zukofsky’s Bottom.” MAPS 5 (1973).

Möller, Melanie & Shane Anderson. A dialog about Catullus 51 (in German) as part of The Game(s) of Translation conference and web-presentation by Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (2021). 

Niedecker, Lorine. “The Poetry of Louis Zukofsky.” Quarterly Review of Literature (1956).

___. “A Review of Louis Zukofsky’s A Test of Poetry.” Capital Times (Madison, WI) 18 December 1948.

O’Leary, Peter. “The Energies of Words.” Poetry Online (2009). [an account and critical examination of the 1931 “Objectivists” issue of Poetry].

Parker, Richard. “Ordering Bottom.” The Wolf 19 (Winter 2008/2009).

___. “Walter Pater—Imagism—Objectivist Verse.” Victorian Network 3.1 (Special Bulletin, 2011): 22-40.

Perelman, Bob. “Nine Contemporary Poets Read Themselves Through Modernism.” PennSound (2000).

Ponichtera, Sarah. “Louis Zukofsky: Building a Poetics of Translation.” In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies (Dec. 2019).

Resnikoff, Ariel. “Louis Zukofsky and Mikhl Likht, A Test of Jewish American Modernist Poetics, Part One – With special reference to Zukofsky’s ‘Poem beginning “The.”’” Jacket 2 (10 Sept. 2013).

Rother, James. “An Occluded Splendor,” Part I & Part II. Contemporary Poetry Review (2001, 2002) [lengthy review essay of All: The Collected Shorter Poems (1965, 1966))].

Scroggins, Mark. “A Note on [Oppen’s] ‘The Lighthouses.” Big Bridge (2008). [on Oppen’s poem as a response to LZ].

Sharp, Tom. “Objectivists” 1927-1934: A Critical History of the Work and Association of Louis Zukofsky, William Carlos Williams, Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, Ezra Pound and George Oppen. 1982 Dissertation, updated Nov. 2015.

___. “The ‘Objectivists’ Publications” (originally published in Sagetrieb (Winter 1984)).

Turquety, Benoît. “L’image-arrêt. Pound, Zukofsky, Mallarmé, Huillet et Straub: poésie cinéma.” Fabula-LhT, n° 2, décembre 2006.

Twitchell-Waas, Jeffrey. Z-Notes: Commentary on LZ. [essays on individual works].

___. “‘A / music / at rest’: Late Duncan and Obectivist Poetics.” Robert Duncan’s Legacies: a Centennial Celebration. Sillages critiques 29 (2020).  

Ware, Joshua. “How Do You Create a Zukofsky Without Organs?” (May 2008). [Deleuzian reading of LZ].

Watten, Barrett. “Archive 01: Zukofsky @ SFAI.” (1 April 2020) [on Watten’s talk for the memorial evening at the San Francisco Art Institute on 8 Dec. 1978 with Robert Duncan].

Zukofsky, Paul. “Why 4 Other Countries or Dear Charles, This Is All Your Fault.” PEPC Library (2008).

___. “Starglow” [part 1 of “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas”]. Musical Observations website (2017).


The Louis Zukofsky Centennial Conference

Columbia University & Barnard College 17 – 19 September, 2004 

A selection of the conference papers and readings are available in Jacket 30 or as video streaming from PennSound:

Tim Woods, “Zukofsky at Columbia.”

Norman Finkelstein, “Comparisons and Criteria: Testing the Test of Poetry.” Online.

Rachel Blau DuPlessis, “A Test of Poetry and Conviction.” 

Bob Perelman, “‘Now Put Down Your Pencils’: Anxiety and Touchstones” (in Jacket 30 as “Zukofsky at 100: Zukofsky as a Body of Work”)

Marjorie Perloff, “From “A”-22 to Oulipo: Zukofsky’s French Connection.” Online.

Richard Sieburth, “Pound, Zukofsky, Calvalcanti”

Helene Aji, “Useless, Usable, Useful: Louis Zukofsky’s American Designs.” 

Steve Shoemaker, “Modern Times: Objectivist ‘’Movies’ and Thinking Matter in Louis Zukofsky’s Poems of the Thirties, Or, The Behavior of Objects in the Gas Age.” 

Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas: “Spinozian Poetics in Zukofsky’s Late Works”

Chris Beyers, “History, Affect, Ideology: Louis Zukofsky and Collage Form”

Abigail Lang, “The Remembering Words or «how zukofsky used words»” (Jacket 30)

David Huntsperger, “Sincerity, Objectification, and Baroque Instability: Zukofsky’s Hybrid Poetics.”

Barbara Cole, “‘Wedded Words: On the dim tide’ of Feminist Criticism and Louis Zukofsky”

Jessica Smith, “Valentine for the Future: Zukofsky’s Alternate Poetics”

Peter Quartermain, “Thinking with the Poem.” (Jacket 30) Rpt. Golden Handcuffs Review 1.5 (Summer/Fall 2005).

Henry Weinfield, “Oppen’s (Bronkian) Reaction against Zukofskyan Objectivism”

Paul Stephens, “LZ and Aristotle” (Jacket 30 as “Zukofsky, Aristotle, Objectivism, Biology”)

Rob Fiterman, “1-800-FLOWERS: Inventory as Poetry in Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers, an essay in verse” (Jacket 30)

Benoît Turquety, “‘Our St. Matthew Passion’: Louis Zukofsky and Film” (Jacket 30)

Poets’ tributes:

Jerome Rothenberg, “Louis Zukofsky: A Reminiscence” (Jacket 30); also at Rothenberg’s blog “Poems and Peotics.”

Bruce Andrews , “What’s the Word: An Essay on Reading” (Jacket 30)

Ben Friedlander, “For Zukofsky/100” (Jacket 30)

Robert Grenier, “A Letter to Peter Quartermain” (Jacket 30)

 Further remarks and papers from the Zukofsky Conference are available as video streaming from PennSound by Michael Golson, Henry Pinkham, Robert Creeley, Tim Woods, Mark Scroggins, Alan Golding, Norman Finkelstein, Rachel Blacu DuPlessis and Bob Perelman. 


Flash Point #7: Louis Zukofsky Centennial (Summer 2004)

Essays and poetic tributes:

Kevin Fitzgerald, “Zukofsky’s ‘A’ and Joyces’ Ulysses: Epics of Fragmentation.”

Bradford Haas, “Holding Up the Mirror and No More: Louis Zukofsky’s ‘1892-1941.’”

___. Review of The Writing of Guillaume Apollinaire and the Correspondence with William Carlos Williams.

Burt Kimmelman, “’Art new, hurt old’: “A”, Ulysses, and Modernist Intertextuality.”

Mark Scroggins, “Blood to the Ghosts: Biography and the New Modernist Studies (with special reference to Louis Zukofsky).”

Poets’ tributes:

Rosmarie Waldrop, “An Objective”

Hugh Seidman, “Zuk Tape”

Thomas A. Clark, “’a horizontal branch’”

Mark Kuniya, “Zukofsky’s Ashtray”


Re-Reading Bottom: Symposium on Louis Zukofsky’s Bottom: on Shakespeare

SUNY Buffalo, 31 Oct. – 1 Nov. 2003

The following Workshop papers or abstracts are on-line:

Antony Adolf, “Epic Criticism / Critical Epics”

Gregg Biglieri, “No Ideas But Eyed Ears”

Stephen Collis, “At the Bottom of Avon River: A Partial Alphabet of Objects for Louis Zukofsky and HD”

Kaplan P. Harris, “Bottom Up: Zukofsky’s Henry Adams”

Nick Lawrence, “Dreaming in Characters”

Sasha Steensen, “At Face Value: Bones among the Epitaphs”

Paul Stephens, “‘Harsh Advice to Scholars’: Humanistic, Anti-Historical, and New Critical Elements in Bottom: on Shakespeare

Michael Cross, “‘For want of the image of a voice'”

Barbara Cole, “‘(Wo)Man (Critic) is but an ass?’: The Bottom Line for Gender Criticism on Zukofsky”

Nick Salvato, “Bottoming Zukofsky”

Jessica Smith, “The Aesthetic Implications of ‘Julia’s Wild'”

Trevor Speller, “Bottom‘s Elisions”

Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas, “‘Words spin’: Spinoza in the Poetics of Zukofsky’s Bottom