© 2002

Queer Lyrics

Difficulty and Closure in American Poetry

  • Authors

About this book


Queer Lyrics fills a gap in queer studies: the lyric, as poetic genre, has never been directly addressed by queer theory. Vincent uses formal concerns, difficulty and closure, to discuss innovations specific to queer American poets. He traces a genealogy based on these queer techniques from Whitman, through Crane and Moore, to Ashbery and Spicer. Queer Lyrics considers the place of form in queer theory, while opening new vistas on the poetry of these seminal figures.


America lyric poem poetics poetry Queer Studies rhetoric

About the authors

JOHN VINCENT is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Wesleyan University, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Poetry lovers should be writing love poems to John Vincent - and not just queer ones. For he has done something very difficult and completely necessary: performed both formalist and thematic analyses of deliberately 'difficult' modern poetry with a view to considering connections between sexual identity and poetic closure. Even readers with an aversion to such poetry will find themselves taken gently by the hand and led through this forbidding terrain by an unusually considerate - yet formidably erudite - critic. Let us hope this isn't Vincent's final word on the subject." - Kevin Kopelson, The University of Iowa

'With Queer Lyrics the study of American poetry should be shaken from its recent doldrums, and queer theory should be roused from its general inattention to literary form.' - Lee Edelman, Tufts University