Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

I wish to thank the members of my dissertation committee at Vanderbilt University—Michael Kreyling, Vereen Bell, Mark Jarman, Sean X. Goudie, and Larry J. Griffin—who helped to shape this project from its earliest stages. Funding for archival research and for dedicated...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxxii

“How sweet the past is, no matter how wrong, or how sad.” This sentiment from one of Charles Wright’s most well-known poems, “The Southern Cross” (1981, World of the Ten Thousand Things 43), allows something of the scope of the ways in which...

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1. Poetic Historiophoty: Filmic Memory in Robert Penn Warren’s Audubon: A Vision

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pp. 1-21

Robert Penn Warren’s1 concerns with the limits of literary modernism and the need for a “new language” to match “the new world around us” (2) are made clear in his 1966 Lamar Lecture, A Plea in Mitigation.2 It is the visual register of film that provides...

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2. Returning the “Undying Cry of the Void”: The Changing Condition of Primal Memory in James Dickey’s Poetry

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pp. 23-46

James Dickey’s1 early poetry, exemplified in Drowning with Others (1962), exhibits an essential faith in the overwhelming restorative force of merging with the natural world, a power often made manifest in scenes of primal violence and...

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3. Many Returns: Forms of Nostalgia in the Poetry of the Contemporary South

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pp. 47-86

Stereotypically, southerners and their literature are known for nostalgia, sometimes even defined by it, and this is one of the most prevalent paradigms of current southern poetry, though much contemporary verse resists this impulse. Nostalgia can take the seemingly...

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4. Lost Highways and Ethereal Landscapes: Cartographic Memory in the Poetry of Charles Wright

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pp. 87-119

One of the chief concerns of Charles Wright’s1 verse is to determine how to use memory to resist the flattening out of memory itself. It is not simply that one may never recover the vividness of lived experience, but that one may never recover the relevance and depth...

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5. Ghostwriting the Claims of the Dead: Traumatic Memory in Yusef Komunyakaa’s Verse

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pp. 121-147

This chapter brings into relief a shift away from what Yusef Komunyakaa1 terms a “neo-Fugitive” aesthetics of apolitical detachment to a literature of confrontation, marking a turn to a poetics that engages fully with a region put to the fires of race- and class-based...

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6. Transouthern Hybridities: The Poetics of Countermemory

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pp. 149-188

Speaking to the complexities of transregionality, the contemporary poetics of countermemory, produced by writers such as Kate Daniels, Judy Jordan, Rodney Jones, Harryette Mullen, and Natasha Trethewey, reinvents southernness not merely after the desiccation of the mythos...

Notes

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pp. 189-232

Bibliography

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pp. 233-243

Index

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pp. 245-252