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Palgrave Macmillan

The Poetics of the American Suburbs

ISBN 9781137340221
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics

The Poetics of the American Suburbs is the first book to consider the rich body of poetry that emerged from and helped to shape the post-war American suburbs. Jo Gill discusses the work of forty or more writers—some well-known, such as Anne Sexton and Langston Hughes, others not primarily known through their poetry such as John Updike, and some who were best-sellers in their own time but have since largely been forgotten such as Phyllis McGinley. Combining detailed textual and archival study with insights drawn from other disciplines, the book offers a new perspective on post-war suburbia and on the broader field of twentieth-century American literature.

Jo Gill is Associate Professor and Director of Education in the Department of English at the University of Exeter, UK. She is the author of Anne Sexton's Confessional Poetics, Women's Poetry and The Cambridge Introduction to Sylvia Plath, and the editor or co-editor of several other books. She is Lead Researcher on the Leverhulme-Trust funded "Cultures of the Suburbs International Research Network."

1: Constructing the Suburbs
2: Suburban Tastes
3: The 'Poet Laureate of Suburbia'
4: Suburban Landscapes
5: The Look of the Suburbs
6: On the Margins
Conclusion: The Song of the Suburbs


"The Poetics of the American Suburbs successfully dismisses the stereotype that the suburbs are places of little or no significance, and shows how poetry 'made in suburbia' is in fact thriving, critical, evocative, and boldly innovative. Gill convincingly tells a tale of many voices, many years and many perspectives, which beautifully uncovers the ever-pumping heart of modern American suburbia, behind its white-washed fences, and its manicured lawns." - Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language
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