Starting a Conversation: The Effort, Effect and Affect of Trans Poetics
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 18:31 authored by Terrence Abrahams
In the introduction to Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, editor TC Tolbert states that the cultural work of this anthology is, in part, “an attempt to expand the range of what is possible for trans and genderqueer poets and to acknowledge that there is no such thing as monolithic trans and genderqueer poetry” (10). Tolbert further notes that there are two dangers to producing an anthology that will, undoubtedly, shift literary culture: they are exclusion and isolation or confinement (11). Tolbert and fellow editor Trace Peterson are both aware, then, that as a burgeoning field of study and literary culture, transgender poetry and poetics simply cannot be defined, lest they perpetuate exclusion (a state with which trans writers are most familiar) and isolation (Tolbert here cites a “biographical frame [that] puts more emphasis on the author ... than the actual poems” - but the editors are also rightly concerned that only other trans people will be interested in trans poetics, meaning cisgender readers will overlook these works ).