Department of English

Congratulations to Chad Bennett for the Publication of His New Book "Word of Mouth"

Fri, April 27, 2018
Congratulations to Chad Bennett for the Publication of His New Book
Chad Bennett "Word of Mouth"

Chad Bennett's new book, Word of Mouth: Gossip and American Poetry, is now published and availabe for purchase via amazon and Johns Hopkins University Press. Congratulations, Chad!

About the Book:

Can the art of gossip help us to better understand modern and contemporary poetry? Gossip’s ostensible frivolity may seem at odds with common conceptions of poetry as serious, solitary expression. But in Word of Mouth, Chad Bennett explores the dynamic relationship between gossip and American poetry, uncovering the unexpected ways that the history of the modern lyric intertwines with histories of sexuality in the twentieth century. 

Through readings of Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Frank O’Hara, and James Merrill―poets who famously absorbed and adapted the loose talk that swirled about them and their work―Bennett demonstrates how gossip became a vehicle for alternative modes of poetic practice. By attending to gossip’s key role in modern and contemporary poetry, he recognizes the unpredictable ways that conventional understandings of the modern lyric poem have been shaped by, and afforded a uniquely suitable space for, the expression of queer sensibilities.

Word of Mouth aims to establish poetry as a neglected archive for our thinking about gossip and to contribute a crucial queer perspective to current lyric studies and its renewed scholarly debate over the status and uses of the lyric genre.

About the Author:

Chad Bennett is Assistant Professor of English 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 critical work has appeared or is forthcoming in ELHTwentieth-Century LiteratureModern DramaArizona Quarterly, and Cinema Journal, and his poetry has appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Gulf Coast, jubilatThe Offing, Poetry Daily, Verse DailyThe Volta, and others. 

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