Digital Danowski: Networking the New American Poetry

danowski network

Project Overview

A partnership between ECDS and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University, Networking the New American Poetry uses more than 10,000 data points to question key narratives about American literary culture in the second half of the 20th century.

The project began as an attempt to test a taxonomy of postwar poetic schools that appeared in Donald Allen's influential anthology, The New American Poetry, 1945 - 1960. Curious about exactly how the anthology has shaped the way we think about American poetry, the research team looked to the Danowski Poetry Library's wide-ranging archive of postwar magazines, periodicals, newsletters, and literary journals, materials that could inform how Allen's schools fit into poetry publishing.

Do the networks of publication, collaboration, and editorial labor outlined in the anthology match the archival evidence?

Networking the New American Poetry uses data from a dozen rare poetry journals to visualize writing and publishing networks formed by mid-century American poets, including the poets Donald Allen anthologized. This project makes the data from these journals available digitally for the first time. The resulting resource documents more than 750 different authors, editors, and translators.

Project Highlights

Emory Partners

Raymond Danowski Poetry Library

Library and Information Technology Services (LITS)

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library


Emory Center for Digital Scholarship

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Project Contacts Networking the New American Poetry website

zurnatikl, a Django web application designed by Emory developers to investigate and analyze the networks among journal contributors such as authors, editors, and translators

Key Contributions

ECDS projects advance Emory University's mission through research, pedagogy, publishing, and public scholarship.

Research How has Donald Allen's influential anthology, The New American Poetry, 1945-1960, shaped the way we think about American poetry?
Pedagogy What can students learn about social relations of poetic production from these networked representations? What are the related social bonds and interactions of the people identified in the network visualizations? What new perspectives can students reach about the writing of mid-20th century American poetry from deeper examinations of the networks?
Publishing The project network helps us rethink the history of literary production in mid-century American poetry and beyond. Social network analysis provides one way to view historical periods and social groups with new eyes, and we invite scholars to engage with our data and visualizations to develop useful historical and interpretive models.
Public Scholarship Vivid visualizations of American poetry networks can entice a non-specialized public to explore and imagine how this remarkable wave of mid-20th century countercultural poetry grew in influence upon academic and popular consciousnesses.