The core group consisted of Louis Zukofsky, Charles Reznikoff, George Oppen and Carl Rakosi. The British poet Basil Bunting was also associated with the group, and later Lorine Niedecker became involved.
The basic tenets of Objectivist poetics were to treat the poem as an object and to emphasise sincerity, intelligence, and the poet's ability to look clearly at the world.
The first appearance of the group was in a special issue of Poetry magazine edited by Zukofsky in February 1931. This was followed by An Objectivist Anthology in 1932. It appears that the term Objectivist may have been used because Harriet Monroe, the editor of Poetry, insisted on a group name.
Zukofsky, Reznikoff, and Oppen went on to form the Objectivist Press to publish books by themselves and by Williams.