Tag Article List: Cyborg

Experimental Forms and Identity Politics in 21st Century American Poetry

Ronnie Stephens
Tarrant County College
Arlington, TX 76063
ronnie.stephens@tccd.edu

Abstract

“Experimental Forms and Identity Politics in 21st Century American Poetry” explores the function of form in American poetry and its proximity to whiteness. Through an analysis of experimental and nontraditional forms I argue that poets Fatimah Asghar, Jericho Brown, Franny Choi, Natalie Diaz, Ilya Kaminsky, and Danez Smith challenge traditional notions of what a poem is; these authors use graphics and co-opt familiar text objects to challenge larger assumptions about gender identity, ableism, and the immigrant experience. These experimental forms are grounded in a larger poetic tradition that alters traditional forms, such as the sonnet, to disrupt and further dialogue related to oppressive tactics in American poetry. They also signal an intentional departure from strict forms associated with colonialism and mark a shift in contemporary American poetry. For educators, including nontraditional and experimental form poems in the curriculum encourages students to engage poetry as a living genre. It also invites conversation about the implications of gatekeeping in both the publishing and education industries. The co-opting and evolution of form is not just a rebellion against classic American poetry but an opportunity for students of color to engage with the literary canon on their own terms.

Keywords: Poetry, Counternarrative, #DisruptTexts, Decolonize, Technology, Sonnet, Cyborg, Pedagogy

Suggested References

APA

Stephens, R. (2021). Experimental forms and identity politics in 21st century American poetry. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 8(2).  http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v8-issue-2/experimental-forms-and-identity-politics-in-21st-century-american-poetry/.

MLA

Stephens, Ronnie. “Experimental Forms and Identity Politics in 21st Century American Poetry”. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, vol. 8, no. 2, 2021. http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v8-issue-2/experimental-forms-and-identity-politics-in-21st-century-american-poetry/.

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