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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 205

Richard (Cory) Kostelanetz 1940–

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American poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, short story writer, and novelist.

Kostelanetz is one of the major supporters of avant-garde literature written during the past twenty years. His oeuvre consists of nontraditional creative writing in nearly every literary genre, and he also promotes and encourages young experimental artists. Kostelanetz describes these writers as "fictioneers" and has devoted several anthologies, including The Young American Writers: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Criticism (1967) and Breakthrough Fictioneers (1973), to their work. As an experimentalist, Kostelanetz is best known for his "visual poetry," a concept which combines elements of poetry and painting. His poems in Visual Language (1967) and I Articulations (1974) often contain the repetition of one letter or word accompanied by graphic design.

Kostelanetz's work has earned him a prominent position in small press publications. However, his reputation in mainstream literary circles is not nearly so well established, for it rests almost entirely on The End of Intelligent Writing: Literary Politics in America (1974). In this book Kostelanetz discusses what he perceives as a conspiracy against experimental artists by established literary groups. Although most critics dismissed this book, some applauded Kostelanetz for his insight on the state of present-day literature and publishing.

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 13-16, rev. ed.)

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Granville Hicks