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It boasted an extraordinary curriculum in the visual, literary, and performing arts as evidenced by some of the artists and teachers listed here: Its art teachers included Anni and Josef Albers, Eric Bentley, Ilya Bolotowsky, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, Lyonel Feininger, Franz Kline, Walter Gropius and Robert Motherwell.Among their students were John Chamberlain, Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg, Dorothea Rockburne, James Bishop, Ruth Asawa, Stan Vanderbeek, Kenneth Snelson, and Cy Twombly.
There, he acted as a link between the Black Mountain poets and the Beats, many of whom he had published in the review.
Also, the appearance in 1960 of Donald Allen's anthology The New American Poetry 1945–1960 (which divides the poets included in its pages into various schools) was crucial: it established a legacy and promoted the influence of the Black Mountain poets worldwide.
Because reality, as viewed from a Romantic perspective, is always a “process,” then poetry must engage in that process.
For Olson, poetry was not the “mirror held up to nature” that the pre-Romantics had proposed but a physical engagement with life’s very energies and, therefore, an enactment of life itself. by way of the poem itself to, all the way over to, the reader.
Only when one becomes conscious of one’s proper position within nature’s laws will one be able to stop destroying nature as well as oneself; one may even become of use.
Part of Olson’s project to reenergize American poetry was very much connected to a humble recognition of humanity’s place in nature, which, Olson hoped, would constitute a radical modification in the human stance toward reality.He traced it back to humankind’s fatal separation from a condition of oneness with nature that resulted from the fall into consciousness.In Olson’s next prose work, “Projective Verse” (1950), he addressed humanity’s fallen condition as it manifests itself in the kind of overly self-conscious, totally subjective poetry that practitioners of the poetics of the New Criticism were writing during the 1930’s and 1940 s.Apart from their strong interconnections with the Beats, the Black Mountain poets influenced the course of later American poetry via their importance for the poets later identified with the Language School. In Canada, the Vancouver-based TISH group, including George Bowering and Daphne Marlatt, were heavily influenced by the Black Mountain poets. They were also important for the development of innovative British poetry since the 1960s, as evidenced by such poets as Tom Raworth and J. Human attempts to control the powers of nature and the resulting chaos that such self-destructive behavior produces became one of Olson’s principal themes throughout his poetry and prose.Olson perpetually used various versions of the mythic motif of the Fall, disengaging it from any specifically Christian contexts.In this, he called for a poetry of "open field" composition to replace traditional closed poetic forms with an improvised form that should reflect exactly the content of the poem.This form was to be based on the line, and each line was to be a unit of breath and of utterance.His essays and poetry also consistently teach his readers the most important lesson: learning how to learn on their own.His advice to the young poet Edward Dorn at Black Mountain College in 1955 is a case in point. And then U KNOW everything else very fast: one saturation job (it might take 14 years).