8. Trans poetry

Trace Peterson writes:

Excited to announce the new issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly issue 1:4, on Trans Cultural Production, magnificently edited by Trish Salah and co. My article in this issue, „Becoming a Trans Poet: Samuel Ace, Max Wolf Valerio, and kari edwards“ is (as far as I am aware) the first scholarly article on the category „trans poets“ or „trans poetry“ to appear in a peer-reviewed academic journal. And all the people I have just mentioned have been published in EOAGH at one point, with a new book of poems by Valerio and a previously unpublished book by edwards forthcoming momentarily from EOAGH Books!


This essay argues for a possible trans poetics or trans poetry aesthetic in the United States by examining poems by three of the earliest visible trans poets to publish books in this country: Samuel Ace, Max Wolf Valerio, and kari edwards. Close readings of their poems, supplemented with interviews in which the authors provide key contextual information, reveal an intriguing relationship between how these authors play with intelligibility through poetic form and how their work has mostly eluded literary history. An investigation into how these poets became authors looks at this process parallel to the narrative of how they understood the process of gender transition. This investigation reveals how aspects of their shared aesthetic can be traced to common struggles, shared literary mentors, and other factors such as how these poets have had to invent their own readership contexts and how name changes create challenges for literary biography.

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