DISCIPLINE AND OTHER POEMS (CREATIVE COMPONENT) AND THE DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY: PERSONA, IDENTITY, PERFORMATIVITY (CRITICAL COMPONENT). / Yeh, Jane.

2017. 149 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Unpublished

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Abstract

This thesis consists of a creative component, comprising a collection of original poems, and a critical component, consisting of a critical essay.

The collection of poems engages with subjects and themes including contemporary art, animals, feminism, popular culture, and the urban landscape. Formally, the collection ranges from dramatic monologues to lyric poems to ekphrastic poems written in the third person. The poems make use of techniques such as fragmentation, disjunction, repetition, and parataxis, and variously employ surreal imagery and unusual metaphors and similes.

The critical essay considers the dramatic monologue as an alternative to lyric through the work of three contemporary American poets: Lucie Brock-Broido, Mary Szybist, and Terrance Hayes. The focus is on the nature of the persona in the dramatic monologue, the relationship between the persona and the writer, and the ways in which the dramatic monologue challenges and subverts the personal lyric. The methodology is drawn from what is broadly termed queer theory, particularly the work of Judith Butler and others on performativity and the construction of gender and sexual identities, work which is itself derived from poststructuralist theory.

After an introduction that evaluates previous work on the dramatic monologue, a chapter is devoted to each poet. The first explores Lucie Brock-Broido’s collection The Master Letters in relation to the practices of camp and female masquerade in order to demonstrate how the persona in the dramatic monologue embodies Judith Butler’s understanding of identity as provisional and groundless. The second chapter discusses Mary Szybist’s poems on the Annunciation, in the collection Incarnadine, to draw an analogy between the writing of dramatic monologues and the metaphorical wearing of drag by the writer. The third chapter examines poems from Terrance Hayes’s collection Lighthead to illustrate how identity in the dramatic monologue is fabricated through performance.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPh.D.
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Sep 2017
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017

ID: 28558227