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Poetic Closets

Gay Lines and the New York School Poets

Hartmut Heep

Poetic Closets: Gay Lines and the New York School Poets focuses on John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, and James Schuyler’s homosexuality and their lives in New York City. Ashbery, O’Hara, and Schuyler met because they shared their experiences—and their men—in their poems and in their lives. Rather than connecting the writings of these three New York poets with established literary movements of the past, this study offers a provocative, prosodic reading that reflects the social, intellectual, political, and sexual views of today. In times of increasing conservatism, these poets suggest different paths of poetic and political resistance to the accepted norms of the 1950s and 1960s. 

Poetic Closets will be of interest to readers of poetry on all levels but particularly to students of English, gender studies, or gay studies at universities and colleges. This book also explores New York as a setting and offers fresh insights into its gender-related landscape of bars, museums, and entertainment venues.

List of Illustrations – Acknowledgments – Introduction – James Schuyler: Confessions of a Reluctant New Yorker – Frank O’Hara: New Yorker Among Poets – John Ashbery: Involuntary "Isms" – Conclusion – Bibliography.