Date of Award
M.A. in English
Jaime L. Harker
This thesis explores the poetry of Joe Brainard and Anne Waldman, two poets of the critically neglected second-generation New York school. I argue that Brainard and Waldman help define the emerging discourse of postmodern poetry through their attention to cold war culture of the 1970s, countercultural ideologies, and poetic form. Both Brainard and Waldman enact a poetics of vulnerability in their work, situating themselves as wholly unique from their late-modernist predecessors. In doing so, they help engender a poetics concerned not only with the intellectual stakes but with the cultural environment they are forced to navigate. Chapter 1 explores Brainard's I remember and the Bolinas journal, arguing that his queer phenomenological approach to writing defines the early forms of postmodernism. Chapter 2 investigates the feminist poetics of Waldman and her engagement with performance and politics as a way to offer a new kind of poetics intent on plurality. The conclusion of this thesis looks at the notion of democracy and the postmodern poet, questioning the necessity for a political poetics and its utility in literary, cultural, and American history.
O'Connor, Jared James, "Cold War New York: Postmodernism, Lyricism, And Queer Aesthetics In 1970S New York Poetry" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 991.