March – at a dinner celebrating Robert Frost's 85th birthday, the critic Lionel Trilling gives some brief remarks about Frost's poetry and "permanently changed the way people think about his subject", according to critic Adam Kirsch. Trilling says that Frost had been long viewed as a folksy, unobjectionable poet, "an articulate Bald Eagle" who gave readers comfortable truths in traditional meter and New England dialect in such schoolbook favorites such as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken"; but was instead was "a terrifying poet" not so much like Longfellow as Sophocles, "who made plain ... the terrible things of human life." Trilling is severely criticized at the time, but his view will become widely accepted in the following decades.
May 18–24 – Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Union, head of state, in an extemporaneous speech at the Congress of Soviet Writers, calls for indulgence towards "deviationist" writers. At the same conference, the poet Alexis Surkov again condemns writing "hostile to socialist realism and denounces fellow poet Boris Pasternak as acting in a way that is "trecherous and unworthy of a Soviet writer". A liberalizing trend in the state's treatment of its writers is evident. Surkov, the subject of intense criticism himself, resigned from the congress, and at some point in the year attacks against Pasternak ceased.
December – "The Poetry Society" episode of Hancock's Half Hour is broadcast on BBC radio, satirizing artistic pretensions.
In the United States, "Those serious new Bohemians, the beatniks, occupied with reading their deliberately undisciplined, protesting verse in night clubs and hotel ballrooms, created more publicity than poetry", wrote Harrison M. Hayford, a professor of American Literature at Northwestern University. "Meanwhile back on the campus, the 'square' poets were turning more and more to a controlled verse, much of it good enough to survive the pointed charge of academicism." Non-beat, off-campus poets almost routinely displayed "simple competence in the handling of complex forms", he wrote in Encyclopædia Britannica's Britannica Book of the Year 1960, which covered 1959.
^Preminger, Alex and T.V.F. Brogan, et al., editors, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 1993, Princeton University Press and MJF Books, "Canadian Poetry" article, English "Anthologies" section, p 164
^" Robert Finch," Online Guide to Writing in Canada. Web, Mar. 17, 2011.
^Lal, P., Modern Indian Poetry in English: An Anthology & a Credo, p 8, Calcutta: Writers Workshop, second edition, 1971 (however, on page 597 an "editor's note" states contents "on the following pages are a supplement to the first edition" and is dated "1972")
^ abcdefghijM. L. Rosenthal, The New Poets: American and British Poetry Since World War II, New York: Oxford University Press, 1967, "Selected Bibliography: Individual Volumes by Poets Discussed", pp 334-340
^ abcCox, Michael, editor, The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-19-860634-6
^ abcdefghijLudwig, Richard M., and Clifford A. Nault, Jr., Annals of American Literature: 1602–1983, 1986, New York: Oxford University Press ("If the title page is one year later than the copyright date, we used the latter since publishers frequently postdate books published near the end of the calendar year." — from the Preface, p vi)
^Preminger, Alex and T.V.F. Brogan, et al., editors, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 1993, Princeton University Press and MJF Books, "New Zealand Poetry" article, "History and Criticism" section, p 837
^ abcAuster, Paul, editor, The Random House Book of Twentieth-Century French Poetry: with Translations by American and British Poets, New York: Random House, 1982 ISBN 0-394-52197-8
^Preminger, Alex and T. V. F. Brogan, et al., The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 1993. New York: MJF Books/Fine Communications
^ abcdBree, Germaine, Twentieth-Century French Literature, translated by Louise Guiney, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983