Dr Jennifer Soong
I work in the areas of poetry and poetics, American and British literature, Modernism, and aesthetics, with an emphasis on literature from the past 150 years.
I am working on two critical book projects at the moment. Poetic Forgetting investigates the evolution and legacy of a certain Modernist conception: that forgetting can constitute a creative principle and artistic practice. I argue that American poets in the last 150 years have been drawn to forgetting, but not as the mere rejection of a literary past or as an apophatic poetics. Tracing forgetting’s influence on Gertrude Stein, Lyn Hejinian, Tan Lin, and New York School poets John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Bernadette Mayer, and Ted Berrigan, my project contends that forgetting’s shapeshifting produces differences in poetic style, interest, and genre—and that such malleability is part of forgetting’s nature.
My second book project The Minor Poet is an intellectual history of the figure of the minor poet. Asking why a poet of a given age might actually aspire to be a minor poet, the project is divided into chapters on the minor poet and ambition, the minor poet and “I/We,” and the minor poet and nationality.
I am also the author of full-length poetry collections and poetry chapbooks Near, At (Futurepoem 2019), When I Ask My Friend (DoubleCross Press 2021), Contempt (SPAM 2021), and Suede Mantis / Soft Rage (Black Sun Lit, forthcoming). I am committed to small press publishing.
Classics and English
English Language and Literature
English and Modern Languages
I studied English at Harvard College and Princeton University, where I received my PhD. Before arriving at Oxford, I taught Anglophone literature at Princeton. I am also a poet.