Department of English

"Dishing the Dirt: Frank O'Hara, Lyric, and Gossip"

Wed, January 30, 2013 | PAR 203

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Free and open to the public.  A talk by Chad Bennet, "Dishing the Dirt: Frank O'Hara, Lyric, and Gossip" Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 from 4:30-6 pm in PAR 203.

About Chad Bennett

Chad Bennett is an ACLS New Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in English from Cornell University, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a B.A. in English from Stanford University. His book project, Word of Mouth: Gossip and American Poetry, divulges the dynamic relationship between twentieth-century American poetry and the queer art of gossip. His critical work has appeared in the journals ELHModern Drama, and Cinema Journal, and his poetry has appeared in journals such as Fence, jubilatDenver QuarterlyVerse DailyNew Orleans Review, and others.  

From Chad Bennett's faculty profile.

About "Dishing the Dirt: Frank O'Hara, Lyric, and Gossip"

Fondly remembered as "a terrible (also first-rate) gossip," Frank O'Hara has seemed to many a poet whose work, too--talky, bursting with intimate references, peopled with celebrated and obscure proper names and knowingly indeterminate pronouns--is "all gossip, local gossip, social gossip."  This talk will explore the intersections of gossip, lyric, and the queer culture of public sex--all modes thriving on the risks and possibilities of the private in public--in O'Hara's poetry in order to show how his poetic meditation on his culture's sexual gossip inflects his engagement with lyric form.  Approaching the lyric with a gossip's sensibility, O'Hara draws out the perversity inherent in the public performance of the private lyric self, finding in gossip a means not of dismantling the lyric genre, but of passionately and queerly inhabiting it.

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