“I don’t self-identify much”: Spahr’s Nation of Stutter

To close this section of plateaus on Response, something must be said about the theory of reading that this collection in particular, and Spahr’s poetics more generally, is differentiated from a now outdated reader response theory that has, since its inception, been absorbed and ignored by the English department and by canonical literary theory. ThisContinue reading ““I don’t self-identify much”: Spahr’s Nation of Stutter”

WTF?: Witness, Testimony, and Dumb Questions in Juliana Spahr

Lingering amongst my analyses of Juliana Spahr’s work is the concept of witness, and particularly of the notion of poetic witness which functions in Response as a key element of the text’s politics. Witness, which for Spahr is intrinsically linked to a politics of testimony, of needing to speak of real, personal experience, and toContinue reading “WTF?: Witness, Testimony, and Dumb Questions in Juliana Spahr”

Everybody’s Autonomy as “Ideological Delusion”

Concomitant with the dual paradoxes of language and selfhood, Juliana Spahr’s work has seen a longstanding interest in the notion of the common and in connectivity or collectivity. This interest in the common is necessarily linked to both notions of the self, as I have already indicated, and also in issues of language and expression,Continue reading “Everybody’s Autonomy as “Ideological Delusion””

“[my zero-level writing”: Spahr’s New Modes of Articulation

As my first plateau on Juliana Spahr argues, her literary and academic career has long been concerned with those moments when language gets fractured and altered. Her article, “The 90s,” demonstrates a view of contemporary anglophone literary movements as either supporting a traditional view of standard English and upholding its values, or else attempting toContinue reading ““[my zero-level writing”: Spahr’s New Modes of Articulation”

Transporting the Reading Self: Spahr’s _Response_ to Subjectivity

As my situation of Juliana Spahr alongside the other poets of my dissertation (namely John Cage, Jackson Mac Low, Robert Duncan, and even Denise Levertov) suggests, Spahr is writing both in and from a tradition of experimental poetry that has long been preoccupied with the eradication of the self. But, owing to the fact thatContinue reading “Transporting the Reading Self: Spahr’s _Response_ to Subjectivity”

Reading Against Juliana Spahr: _Response_ as Temporary Autonomous Zone

I begin my section of plateaus on feminist poetics with Response (1996), the first collection of poetry by the now central experimental poet, Juliana Spahr. I begin with Spahr because I see in her work a clear intersection with Levertov’s: a refusal to entirely deny her subjectivity, and a reliance on that subjective point-of-view toContinue reading “Reading Against Juliana Spahr: _Response_ as Temporary Autonomous Zone”