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Zukofsky, Louis
Person · 1904-1978

Louis Zukofsky (January 23, 1904 May 12, 1978) was one of the most important second-generation American modernist poets. He was co-founder and primary theorist of the Objectivist group and was to be an important influence on subsequent generations of poets in America and abroad. New York-born, of Lithuanian Jewish parents, he studied English at Columbia, graduating with a Master's degree in 1924. He began writing at university and joined the college literary society as well as publishing poems in student magazines. One early poem was published in Poetry but never reprinted. In 1934, Zukofsky got a research job with the Works Projects Administration (WPA), a position he held until 1942, working on a history of American handicrafts. In 1933 He met Celia Thaew and they were married six years later. The Zukofskys had one child, Paul, born in 1943, who went on to become a prominent violinist and conductor. In 1943 Zukofsky left the WPA to work as a substitute public school teacher and a technical writer. In 1947, he took a job as an instructor in the English Department of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and he taught there until his retirement in 1966. Although Zukofsky lived in New York City for most of his life, in 1972 the Zukofskys moved to Port Jefferson, New York, on Long Island. Zukofsky died there in 1978. In his early years, Zukofsky was a committed Marxist. While he associated with Party members and published in Party-associated magazines, his poetry, which while strongly political was resolutely avant-garde and difficult, found little favor in Party circles. Though Zukofsky considered himself a Marxist at least through the end of the 1930s, the focus of his work after 1940 turned from the political to the domestic. Ezra Pound, who Zukofsky considered the most important living poet, promoted Zukofsky's work, putting him in contact with other like-minded poets, including William Carlos Williams. Zukofsky was one of the founders of the Objectivist group of poets and of To Publishers, later the Objectivist Press, along with Charles Reznikoff and George Oppen. (Other poets associated with this group included Williams, Basil Bunting, Lorine Niedecker, Carl Rakosi, Charles Reznikoff and Kenneth Rexroth.) Having suffered critical neglect for most of his career, Zukofsky, along with the other Objectivists, was rediscovered by the Black Mountain and Beat poets in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Zukofsky was a major influence on many of the Language poets, particularly in their formalism.

Zonailo, Carolyn
Person · 1947-

Carolyn Zonailo was born January 21, 1947, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Zonailos paternal great-grandparents were among the 7,500 Doukhobors who came to Canada from Georgia, Russia, in 1899. She is the daughter of Matt Zonailo, a builder and electrician from Castlegar, British Columbia, and Anne Gibb, who immigrated to Canada from Scotland as a young child. Zonailo attended primary and secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. She attended Scripps College in Claremont, California, as well as the University of Rochester in New York. In 1971, Zonailo received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of British Columbia. From the mid 1970s, Zonailo published her poetry in literary magazines, periodicals and anthologies. In 1975, she began studies at Simon Fraser University at Burnaby, British Columbia, and completed a Master of Arts degree in 1980. Zonailo founded Caitlin Press in 1977 and published books of poetry and fiction until 1990. During this period, Caitlin Press published several other west coast poets including Elizabeth Gourlay, David West, Cathy Ford, Beth Jankola, Carole Itter, Norm Sibum, David Conn, Ajmer Rode, and Mona Fertig. In April, 1991, Caitlin Press was sold to Cynthia Wilson and Ken Carling, who relocated the press to Prince George, British Columbia, and changed its scope to fiction, non-fiction, and poetry primarily related to the interior region of British Columbia. In 1991, Zonailo began collaborating with graphic artist and poet Ed Varney to publish poetry broadsides, pamphlets, chapbooks and two anthologies under the imprint the Poem Factory/Usine de Poeme. Their collaboration continued through 1999. Zonailo has served on the board of several writers organizations including the Federation of British Columbia Writers, the League of Canadian Poets, and the Writers Union of Canada. In 1995, Zonailo married poet and teacher Stephen Morrissey and in 2000, they founded Coracle Press. Zonailos interest in mythology, archetypal studies, and Jungian psychology has been incorporated into her writing. Zonailo also writes and lectures in mythology and astrology under the name Carolyn Joyce. Carolyn Zonailo lives in Montreal, Quebec, with her husband, Stephen Morrissey.

Zolf, Syd
Person · 1968-

Syd (formerly Rachel) Zolf’s artistic practice explores materialist questions about memory, history, knowledge, subjectivity and the conceptual limits of language and meaning. Zolf’s work queerly enacts how ethics founders on the shoals of the political, imagining other possibilities of sociality, space, and time.

Their books of poetry include Human Resources (2007, Coach House Books), Neighbour Procedure (2010, Coach House Books), Janey’s Arcadia (2014, Coach House Books), and Social Poesis (2019, Wilfrid Laurier University Press). Their book No One's Witness: A Monstrous Poetics (2021, Duke University Press) was a finalist for the 2022 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. They won a 2018 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, the 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and have been a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the Raymond Souster Memorial Award. Their film version of Janey’s Arcadia has shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and other venues. Among their many collaborations, they wrote the film The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture, directed by New York artist Josiah McElheny, which premiered at Art Basel Miami; and they conducted the first collaborative MFA in Creative Writing ever, The Tolerance Project. They have taught at New York’s The New School and the University of Calgary and have completed a PhD in Philosophy, Art and Social Thought at the European Graduate School.