List of literary movements

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This is a list of modern literary movements: that is, movements after the Renaissance. These terms, helpful for curricula or anthologies, evolved over time to group certain writers who are often loosely related. Some of these movements (such as Dada and Beat) were defined by the members themselves, while other terms (the metaphysical poets, ) emerged decades or centuries after the periods in question. Ordering is approximate, as there is considerable overlap.

Amatory fiction[edit]

Cavalier Poets[edit]

Metaphysical poets[edit]

The Augustans[edit]


Gothic novel[edit]

Lake Poets[edit]

American Romanticism[edit]

  • Distinct from European Romanticism, the American form emerged somewhat later, was based more in fiction than in poetry, and incorporated a (sometimes almost suffocating) awareness of history, particularly the darkest aspects of American history.



Dark romanticism[edit]




Stream of consciousness[edit]

  • Early-20th-century fiction consisting of literary representations of quotidian thought, without authorial presence.


The Lost Generation[edit]


  • Touted by its proponents as anti-art, dada focused on going against artistic norms and conventions.

First World War Poets[edit]


Los Contemporáneos[edit]


Harlem Renaissance[edit]


  • Originally a French movement, influenced by Surrealist painting, that uses surprising images and transitions to play off of formal expectations and depict the unconscious rather than conscious mind.

Southern Agrarians[edit]


  • Mid-20th-century poetry and prose based on seemingly arbitrary rules for the sake of added challenge.

Pargatiwadi Dhara[edit]

  • Amrita Mohan Singh et al. established a new type of Punjabi poetry in the early 20th century that revised older Punjabi forms, to a degree influenced by trends in the English language. But mainly this was home grown and soon became a traditional realist form. There was a Marxist sloganistic tone.

Paryogsheel Lehar[edit]

  • This replaced the older traditional Pargatiwadi in Punjabi literature during the 1960s. By this time most were following Russian and English Realism in an established manner which Paryogsheel contrasted. S.S. Misha was the main proponent. Others included Ajaib Kamal and Ravinder Ravi. They gave a fresh face and new soul to the Punjabi poetry by experimenting in theme as well as in form, thereby mapping out new directions for the generations that followed.


Black Mountain Poets[edit]

Beat poets[edit]

Hungryalist Poets[edit]

Confessional poetry[edit]

New York School[edit]

Magical Realism[edit]


Prakalpana Movement[edit]

  • This ongoing movement launched in 1969 based in Calcutta, by the Prakalpana group of Indian writers in Bengali literature, who created new forms of Prakalpana fiction, Sarbangin poetry and the philosophy of Chetanavyasism, later spreads worldwide.


  • A literary movement founded in the late 1960s by René Philoctète, Jean-Claude Fignolé, and Frankétienne. Spiralism defines life at the level of relations (colors, odors, sounds, signs, words) and historical connections.

Spoken Word[edit]

New Formalism[edit]

Performance Poetry[edit]

  • This is the lasting viral component of Spoken Word and one of the most popular forms of poetry in the 21st century. It is a new oral poetry originating in the 1980s in Austin, Texas, using the speaking voice and other theatrical elements. Practitioners write for the speaking voice instead of writing poetry for the silent printed page. The major figure is American Hedwig Gorski who began broadcasting live radio poetry with East of Eden Band during the early 1980s. Gorski, considered a post-Beat, created the term Performance Poetry to define and distinguish what she and the band did from performance art. Instead of books, poets use audio recordings and digital media along with television spawning Slam Poetry and Def Poets on television and Broadway.


  • Unlike normal literary movements in the Punjab language, this was born outside of the Indian subcontinent in the UK. It essentially merged western writings genres that did not exist in the language and such took its influence from Science Fiction, Magical Realism, Surrealism and Cinema, creating a visual style that mimics the semantics of English, French and Spanish. As such it "mashes" up all these genres and places them first in a Punjabi context and then that of the second generation of Punjabis who are basically English but speak and write in their heritage language with equal aplomb.
  • The movement is not part of the NRI / Parvasi movement established by Punjabi writers who have settled in the west, but rather a rebellion against their values, eschewing all that is good about British culture and thought and then combining it with all that is good about Punjabi. It is also scathing of the social norms in India and Pakistan, using literature as a mirror.
  • Main proponents are Roop Dhillon, Amar Rana Bolla and Onkar Singh.