Galvin provides a critical look at the intersections between the development of queer consciousness and the poetic experimentations of Emily Dickinson, Amy Lowell, Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, and H.D., one that places them in a continuum of non-heterocentric existence. While these writers were non-heterocentric in their personal identities, they were also all innovators of modernist poetics. For lesbians and other non-heterocentrically defined writers, the active creation of identity outside the heterosexual economy demands new ways of writing, and this demand manifests itself not only in content, but also in poetic technique.
The basic assumption of this work is that the mind which can imagine other sexual orientations and gender identities can and must also imagine new ways of writing, and that a consideration of the poets' sexualities is central to a fuller understanding of both the message and the medium of their poetic practices. A full-length exploration of the relationship between poetics and queer theory, Queer Poetics presents a theoretical framework that can illuminate not only the ways we read the specific poetic innovations of these six writers, but also the ways we read literary modernism itself, by placing both in a different social and epistemological context--that of queer existence. This work is important to scholars and researchers in Women's Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, feminist criticism, and the study of poetry.