Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


April 30, 2009

The interaction of American cinema and poetry is explored in new UI Press book

"We Saw the Light: Conversations between the New American Cinema and Poetry" by Daniel Kane will become available from the University of Iowa Press Friday, May 1.

The book will be available at bookstores or directly from the UI Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from the Eurospan Group online at

"We Saw the Light" is the latest addition to the UI Press Contemporary North American Poetry Series, edited by Alan Golding, Lynn Keller and Adalaide Morris.

By the mid-1960s, American poets and underground filmmakers had established a vibrant community. Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley and Frank O'Hara joined Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie and Andy Warhol to hang out, make films, read poems, fight censorship, end racism and shut down the Vietnam War. Their personal, political, and artistic collaborations led them to rethink the moving picture and the lyric, resulting in a profusion of poetry/film hybrids.

Drawing on unpublished correspondences and personal interviews with key figures in the innovative poetry and film communities, Kane's book not only provides a fresh look at avant-garde poetry and film but also encourages readers to rethink the artistic scenes of the 1960s and today.

Susan McCabe, the author of "Cinematic Modernism: Modern Poetry and Film," wrote: "Daniel Kane's 'We Saw the Light' is an original, smart, funny and profound book. It is in one sense an archaeological dig, uncovering a root work of relations between filmmakers and poets in the post-World War II era; it is also a series of dazzling illuminations exposing fresh historical collaborations.

"Radical aesthetics combine with social politics, where 'masculinity,' 'sanity,' 'sexuality,' and 'poetics' are not monolithic signifiers but become part of Kane's mobile 'conversations' between poetry and cinema, prompting new ways of seeing and knowing the world and self.

"Anyone interested in tracking the Beat or New York School of poets in their passion for cinema will want to read this book; anyone wanting to understand filmmakers who sought out their poetic doubles, and the ensuing interstitial fireworks, must read this book: it is like seeing the light for the first time."

Kane is a senior lecturer at the University of Sussex. He is the author of "Ostentation of Peacocks, All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s" and "What Is Poetry: Conversations with the American Avant-Garde," and he is the editor of "Don't Ever Get Famous: Essays on New York School Writing after the 'New York School.'"

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Thomas, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,