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Synopsis

This new book by eminent scholar Michael Davidson gathers his essays concerning formally innovative poetry from modernists such as Mina Loy, George Oppen, and Wallace Stevens to current practitioners such as Cristina Rivera-Garza, Heriberto Yépez, Lisa Robertson, and Mark Nowak. The book considers poems that challenge traditional poetic forms and in doing so trouble normative boundaries of sexuality, subjectivity, gender, and citizenship. At the heart of each essay is a concern with the “politics of form,” the ways that poetry has been enlisted in the constitution—and critique—of community. Davidson speculates on the importance of developing cultural poetics as an antidote to the personalist and expressivist treatment of postwar poetry. A comprehensive and versatile collection, On the Outskirts of Form places modern and contemporary poetics in a cultural context to reconsider the role of cultural studies and globalization in poetry.

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