© 2014

The Poetics of Waste

Queer Excess in Stein, Ashbery, Schuyler, and Goldsmith

  • Authors

Part of the Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics book series (MPCC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Christopher Schmidt
    Pages 1-25
  3. Christopher Schmidt
    Pages 27-56
  4. Christopher Schmidt
    Pages 123-156
  5. Christopher Schmidt
    Pages 157-166
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 167-224

About this book


Modernist debates about waste - both aesthetic and economic - often express biases against gender and sexual errancy. The Poetics of Waste looks at writers and artists who resist this ideology and respond by developing an excessive poetics.


gender poetics poetry

About the authors

Christopher Schmidt is Assistant Professor of English at The City University of New York, LaGuardia, USA.

Bibliographic information


"In this remarkable, illuminating study, Schmidt explores the 'mysterious charisma of waste,' the magnetic pull it exerts on a vital strain of modernist and contemporary poetry . . . Schmidt's brilliant, incisive argument gives us valuable tools for understanding key features of avant-garde poetics such as fragmentation, collage, excess in a fascinating new light: as complex, subversive methods of 'waste management.' A timely, provocative, and important book." Andrew Epstein, Associate Professor of English, Florida State University, USA, and author of Beautiful Enemies: Friendship and Postwar American Poetry

'''Waste matters.' Say what? In this revelatory and often funny study, Schmidt identifies, analyses and celebrates the dreck polluting modernist and postmodernist poetry . . . We'll never think about poetry or garbage in quite the same way again.' Daniel Kane, Reader in English and American Literature, University of Sussex, UK

"Through brilliant uses of Queer Theory, Taylorism and its dietary subset Fletcherism, and much else of theoretical/historical interest, Christopher Schmidt's The Poetics of Waste forges powerful new connections and traces salient divergences among Stein's erotic poetry, Ashbery's undervalued 'scrapbook,' Schuyler's 'camp waste management' and writing by two tantalizingly different Conceptualists. Figuring waste as oppositional resource, queer fertility, Schmidt demonstrates the remarkable volatility of categories like efficiency and excess, reduction and proliferation." - Thomas Fink, LaGuardia Community College, USA and author of 'A Different Sense of Power': Problems of Community in Late Twentieth-Century U.S. Poetry