Movements

A literary movement is a term used to define literature created during the same time period by different authors. They share a similar reason or inspiration for writing and use related ideas.

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  • a

  • Academic Drama
    Academic drama is a theatrical movement that was popular during the Renaissance, in the 16th-century. It was performed in universities.
  • Acmeism
    Acmeism is a literary movement that emerged in the early 1910s in Russia. The movement is also referred to as the Guild of Poets.
  • Aestheticism
    Aestheticism is a literary and artistic movement in the 18th and 19th centuries that focused on the importance of beauty.
  • Alexandrianism
    Alexandrianism is the work and beliefs of Greek poets during the Hellenistic age, lasting from 323 to 31 BCE.
  • Alliterative Revival
    The term “alliterative revival” is used to refer to a period of time, between 1350 and 1500, during which alliterative verse had a resurgence in Middle English.
  • American Realism
    American realism was a style of writing, music, and art during the 20th century in the United States, specifically in New York.
  • American Renaissance
    American Renaissance period of literature lasted from 1830 to the beginning of the Civil War, around 1861.
  • American Romanticism
    American Romanticism is considered the first highly influential literary movement to occur within the United States. It is also sometimes known as the “American Renaissance.” 
  • Angry Young Men
    The Angry Young Men were a group of British writers and novelists disillusioned with society who produced work through the 1950s.
  • Augustan Age
    The Augustan Age was a period during the first half of the 18th century in England. Poets during this period created verse inspired by authors like Virgil and Ovid.
  • b

  • Baroque
    The term “baroque” is used to define a literary period that began in the 1500s and lasted through the 1700s in Europe.
  • Beat Generation
    The Beat Generation was a literary movement that began after the Second World War and known for its liberal attitudes towards life.
  • Black Mountain Poets
    The Black Mountain Poets were a group of writers centered around Black Mountain College, in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
  • Bloomsbury Group
    The Bloomsbury Group, also known as the Bloomsbury Set, was a group of English writers, artists, philosophers, critics, and friends.
  • c

  • Caroline Era
    The Age of Caroline is an age in British history that is named for Charles I. It lasted from 1625 to 1649. It is made up of three poetic schools— Metaphysical, Cavalier and Puritan.
  • Cavalier Poets
    The Cavalier Poets were a group of writers from the 17th century in England. They are generally defined by their class, and the fact that they originated from that which supported Charles I during the English Civil War.
  • Celtic Revival
    The Celtic Revival was a revival in general interest in Celtic history, literature, and languages, in the late-nineteenth century.
  • d

  • Dadaism
    Dadaism was an art and literary movement in Europe during the 20th century. It was a reaction to the senselessness of war during the early 1900s. 
  • Dark Romanticism
    Dark Romanticism is a subgenre of the important literary movement— Romanticism. It includes works of a more grotesque nature. 
  • Decadent Movement
    The Decadent movement occurred during the late 19th-century in Western Europe. It was exemplified by a general skepticism and sickness at everyday life, crude humor, and the belief that creativity was important than logic. 
  • Dirty Realism
    Dirty realism is a literary movement of the 20th century in North America. The movement's authors use concise language and clear descriptions of the darkest parts of reality.
  • e

  • Edwardian Period
    The Edwardian Period, which officially lasted from 1901 to 1910, includes the reign of King Edward VII. However, the period is often stretched to include the start of World War One.
  • Elizabethan Era
    Elizabethan Era was a literary period that lasted through the years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, from 1558 to 1603.
  • Enlightenment
    The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, was a period from the late 17th century through the 18th century, in which scientific ideas flourished throughout Western Europe, England, and the colonies in America.
  • Epic Theatre
    Epic theatre was a theatrical movement that began in the early twentieth century and last through the middle of the period. It consisted of new political dramas and was inspired by the social climate of the time.
  • Expressionism
    Expressionism was a literary and artistic reaction against realism and naturalism. Writers were interested in emotion and psychology.
  • f

  • Fireside Poets
    The fireside poets, also known as the "household poets" or "schoolroom poets," were a group of American poets well-loved during the 19th century.
  • Formalism
    In literature, formalism is a school of literary criticism and theory. It’s concerned more with the structure of the text than it is with any outside influence on the author.
  • Fugitives
    The Fugitives literary movement is comprised of a group of poets and scholars from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in the mid-1920s. 
  • Futurism
    Futurism is an avant-garde movement that originated in Italy in the 20th century. It was part of the broader Futurist art movement.
  • g

  • Georgian Poetry
    Georgian poetry was a poetic movement in England that lasted from 1910 to 1936 during the reign of George V.
  • Goliardic Verse
    Goliardic verse is a style of satirical Latin poetry written during the Middle Ages by young European clergy known as the Goliards. 
  • Graveyard Poets
    The graveyard poets, also known as the Churchyard Poets were a group of writers in England during the 18th century. Their writing was characterized by meditations on death and the afterlife.
  • h

  • Harlem Renaissance
    The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and intellectual movement in African American art, literature, dance, must, and more.
  • i

  • Imagism
    Imagism was a literary movement of the early 20th century. The proponents were interested in the use of precise imagery and clear language.
  • Irish Literary Revival
    The Irish Literary Revival, also sometimes known as the Irish Literary Renaissance or the Celtic Twilight, was a literary period in the late 19th and early 20th century in Ireland.
  • j

  • Jacobean Age
    The Jacobean Age or Era was a period in English and Scottish history, from 1603-1625. It corresponds with the reign of James VI of Scotland.
  • k

  • Kitchen Sink Drama 
    Kitchen sink drama, or Kitchen sink realism, is a term applied to a period in British film, literature, and art that occurred during the late 1950s and 1960s. It was based on a general frustration with contemporary life and curated art/literature. 
  • l

  • Lake Poets
    The Lake Poets were a group of English poets who lived and wrote in the Lake District during the nineteenth century.
  • Language Poetry
    Language poetry is an avant-garde movement that places emphasis on the reader’s role in creating meaning. It began in the 1970s as a response to more traditional poetic forms. 
  • Literary Modernism
    Literary modernism originated in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It was mainly focused in Europe and North America.
  • Lost Generation
    Lost Generation refers to a group of writers who came of age during World War I and dealt with the social changes the war brought.
  • m

  • Mannerism
    Mannerism is a hard-to-define term that’s loosely applied to literature and more commonly used in regard to visual arts. When it comes to poetry, it refers to elaborate, particularly clever, and highly poetic work.
  • Martian Poetry
    Martian poetry was written by a small circle of British poets in the late 1970s that depicted everyday objects in a disorienting light.
  • Metaphysical Poetry
    Metaphysical poetry is marked by the use of elaborate figurative languages, original conceits, paradoxes, and philosophical topics.
  • Misty Poets
    The Misty Poets, or Ménglóng Shi Rén, is a group of Chinese poets who were working in the 20th century. Their work was created against the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution during which traditional themes of art were sidelined and artists were prosecuted. 
  • n

  • Native American Renaissance
    The “Native American Renaissance” is a term coined by Kenneth Lincoln in 1983. It refers to a period of increased literary production by Native American authors within the United States. 
  • Neoclassicism
    Neoclassicism was a movement interested in reviving Greco-Roman literature, art, architecture, philosophy, and theatre in the 18th century.
  • New Apocalypse
    The New Apocalypse or New Apocalyptics grouping was a selection of poets from the United Kingdom during the 1940s.
  • New Formalism
    New formalism, also known as neo-formalism was a movement of late 20th early 21st-century American poetry. It was a reaction to the innovations of Modernist poets like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. 
  • New Wave Science Fiction
    The New Wave science fiction movement occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. During this time, writers experimented with the style of “soft” science fiction. 
  • New Woman Movement and Writing
    New Woman was a feminist ideal that was profoundly influential on 19th and 20th-century literature, as well as broader feminist beliefs.
  • New York School of Poets
    The New York School was a group of artists, writers, dancers, and more who were primarily active in New York City in the 1950s and 60s. 
  • o

  • Oulipo
    The term “Oulipo” refers to a group of mainly French writers who utilized creative and contrasting writing techniques in order to experiment with what is possible in literature.
  • p

  • Postmodernism
    Postmodernism is a literary movement that began in the late-20th century. It was a reaction to modernism after World War II. 
  • Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
    The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English artists, including writers, painters, and critics, who were founded in 1848.
  • r

  • Realism
    Realism is a literary movement that portrays everyday life exactly how it is.
  • Romanticism
    Romanticism was a movement that originated in Europe at the end of the 18th century and emphasized aesthetic experience and imagination.
  • s

  • Scottish Renaissance
    The Scottish Renaissance was a literary movement that took place in the mid-20th century in Scotland. It is often referred to as the Scottish version of modernism. 
  • Socialist Realism
    Socialist realism is a style of realism that developed in the Soviet Union between 1932 and 1938. It was defined by its focus on idealized communist values.  
  • Stridentism
    Stridentism, or estridentismo, was an avant-garde movement founded in Puebla City, Mexico at the end of 1921. It was influenced by the Mexican Revolution and had distinct political elements. 
  • Sturm und Drang
    Sturm und Drang was a literary and art movement that occurred in Germany in the late 18th century. It is generally characterized as a precursor to romanticism.
  • Surrealism
    Surrealism refers to a movement of literature, art, and drama in which creators chose to incorporated dreams and the unconscious, and fuse reality and pure imagination.
  • t

  • Tang Dynasty Poetry
    During the Tang Dynasty, from June 18, 618 to June 4, 907, Chinese poetry entered a Golden Age. It is remembered primarily for the work of poets like Li Bai, Wang Wei, Du Fu, and Bai Juyi.
  • Transcendentalism
    The most important part of Transcendentalism is the focus on nature and opposition to the destruction of the individual that came with industrialism.
  • v

  • Verismo
    Verismo, or “realism,” is an Italian term used to describe a movement that was popular in Italy between 1875 to the early years of the 1900s.