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American Hybrid Poetics explores the ways in which hybrid poetics—a playful mixing of disparate formal and aesthetic strategies—have been the driving force in the work of a historically and culturally diverse group of women poets who are part of a robust tradition in contesting the dominant cultural order. Amy Moorman Robbins examines the ways in which five poets—Gertrude Stein, Laura Mullen, Alice Notley, Harryette Mullen, and Claudia Rankine—use hybridity as an implicitly political strategy to interrupt mainstream American language, literary genres, and visual culture, and expose the ways in which mass culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has had a powerfully standardizing impact on the collective American imagination. By forcing encounters between incompatible traditions—consumer culture with the avant-garde, low culture forms with experimental poetics, prose poetry with linguistic subversiveness—these poets bring together radically competing ideologies and highlight their implications for lived experience. Robbins argues that it is precisely because these poets have mixed forms that their work has gone largely unnoticed by leading members and critics in experimental poetry circles.
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About the Author
AMY MOORMAN ROBBINS is an assistant professor of English at Hunter College, CUNY, where she specializes in modern and contemporary experimental poetics with emphasis on the work of women poets. She has published critical essays on the work of Gertrude Stein (Journal of Lesbian Studies), Harryette Mullen (Contemporary Literature), and Alice Notley (Pacific Coast Philology).
Table of Contents
1. Gertrude Stein's Blood on the Dining-Room Floor: Hybrid Poetics in Modernist / Mass Culture
2. Laura Mullen's Murmur: Crime Fiction, Cruel Optimism, and a Hybrid Poetics of Affect
3. Alice Notley's Disobedience: The Postmodern Subject, Paranoia, and a New Poetics of Noir
4. Harryette Mullen's Poetics in Prose: A Return to the Modernist Hybrid
5. Claudia Rankine's Don't Let Me Be Lonely: A Lyrical Long Poem in a Post-Language Age