After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography

After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography


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In an age of memoir, the distinction between fiction and nonfiction has become increasingly blurred, sparking controversy among writers and readers alike. But what about the autobiographical impulse in poetry? In this groundbreaking collection, some of our best contemporary poets contemplate the legacy of the confessional poets such as Plath, Sexton, and Lowell. They also tackle such fiery topics as the nature of authorial responsibility in telling the truth, the focus on issues of self in relation to others and to the natural world, the very essence of craft as transformation, and the role female poets have played in breaking the code of silence.

Rich in opinion and theory, After Confession offers the first thorough discussion on the lyric "I"—the boundaries between literal and emotional truth, memory and imagination, person and persona, narcissism and revelation.

Contributors: Joan Aleshire Frank Bidart Kimberly Blaeser Joseph Bruchac Marilyn Chin Billy Collins Stephen Dunn Annie Finch Carol Frost Brendan Galvin Pamela Gemin Louise Glück David Graham Kimiko Hahn Judith Harris Andrew Hudgins Colette Inez Yusef Komunyakaa Ted Kooser Sydney Lea William Matthews Thylias Moss Carol Muske-Dukes Sharon Olds Alicia Ostriker Stanley Plumly Claudia Rankine Adrienne Rich Kate Sontag Alan Williamson

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555973551
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 09/01/2001
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 5.72(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

David Graham is the poetry editor of Blue Moon Review. He is the author of six collections of poetry, including Stutter Monk, and is a professor of English at Ripon College.

Kate Sontag teaches in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies. She lives in Ripon, Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

Take the I Out1
Introduction: Containing Multitudes3
IStaying News: Critical & Historical Perspectives
Personal and Impersonal11
Staying News: A Defense of the Lyric14
Making a Case; or, "Where Are You Coming From?"38
Stories about the Self (I & II)51
The Self within the Circle71
My Grandfather's Tackle Box: The Limitations of Memory-Driven Poetry81
IIOur Better Halves: Autobiographical Musings
Voluminous Underwear; or, Why I Write Self-Portraits95
Autobiography and Archetype104
Family Talk: Confessional Poet? Not Me114
My Better Half127
Borges and I129
The First Person in the Twenty-First Century132
Coherent Decentering: Toward a New Model of the Poetic Self137
The Autobiographical "I": An Archive of Metaphor, Imagery, and Innuendo144
IIIDegrees of Fidelity: Ethical & Aesthetic Considerations
Mother, May I?: Writing with Love151
Lying for the Sake of Making Poems158
Degrees of Fidelity176
The Glass Anvil: "The Lies of an Autobiographer"182
The Contemporary Poet and the Natural World197
Blunt Instrument: A Zuihitsu214
IVCodes of Silence: Women & Autobiography
Bless Me, Sisters233
The Forbidden244
Breaking the Code of Silence: Ideology and Women's Confessional Poetry254
The Voices We Carry269
Women and Poetry: Some Notes281
Translating Self: Stealing from Wang Wei, Kowtowing to Hughes, Hooking Up with Keats, Undone by Donne305
Beyond Confession: The Poetics of Postmodern Witness317
In Those Years333

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After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating collection of essays about autobiographical poetry.