I've discovered a new audio resource, a ton of interviews, lectures, and readings of poets and writers both living and dead. It's called Wired for Books, from Ohio University radio, and I'm just scratching the surface.
Love him or hate him, this one is worth a listen, Tony Hoagland lecturing on poetics, the "new" and "old" poetry, and litany poems as a good place to see what "new" is. He talks about the "American plain style," as given to us by William Carlos Williams, and its legacy in the last 40 years, in which language is pushing its way back up to the front. On the gap between the word and the thing: "The naming is not a divorce from the thing; the naming is a kind of wedding with the thing."
Among the poems he reads and unpacks is "Or," by Thomas Sayers Ellis, which embodies the American plain style and also a sense of the "game" of language.
here's the MP3: