The Gray Area: An Open Letter to Marjorie Perloff

“…if we take Conceptualism and Conservatism as two poles in our current poetry culture, as you are proposing, then the curious thing is that the most extreme examples at either pole converge in one very important way: in the purported transparency of their language. Both subordinate the materiality of language to other aims: for the Conservator, the goal is emotional identification achieved through either narrative, or the semblance of epiphany, or what have you, and for the Conceptualist, the goal is revelation of the framework which governs the text. ” Matvei Yankelevich responds to Marjorie Perloff at the Los Angeles Review of Books.