School of Quietude

The School of Quietude (SoQ) is a rhetorical label first used by the Language poet Ron Silliman on his blog. This label has been adopted by many other writers of the poetry blogosphere to describe a certain thread or tradition they perceive in the poetry of The United States.

Arguably SoQ is used in a strictly pejorative sense because generally the critics who employ it do so in order to describe poets whose poetics they consider overtly conservative. Silliman has stated repeatedly that he adopted the term from a phrase once used by Edgar Allan Poe to describe some of his contemporaries whose ideas about poetry were a throwback to the literature of Great Britain or were overly British in their writing style. Silliman's contention is that the present day School of Quietude in American poetry are the spiritual heirs of those same Anglophile 19th century poets.

Silliman contrasts the School of Quietude with what he calls Post-Avant poetry. Silliman's dichotomy has been criticized by poets and critics such as Pierre Joris, Mark Scroggins, K. Silem Mohammad, Robert Archambeau, Joshua Corey, and Tony Tost as misleading or overly simplistic or dismissive.
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