Chicana poetics: genre and style in Gloria Anzaldúa and Lorna Dee Cervantes

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Alexander, Donna Maria
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University College Cork
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This thesis conducts a formal study of the poetry of Gloria Anzaldúa and Lorna Dee Cervantes, placing their work in dialogue with genre and style. These two Chicana poets are exemplary of politicised experimentation with poetics, underpinned by a keen awareness of the rich history of form, genre and style. In the work of each poet, two poetic modes are examined: one traditional, and one experimental. Anzaldúa’s uses of the dramatic monologue as a border genre, and her construction of [auto]poetics, stemming from her multi-genre, autobiographical approach to writing, are considered. Cervantes’s complex approach to the construction of docupoetics that achieves a depth of field in terms of merging a multidimensional approach to aesthetics with highly politicised transnational content, as well as her engagement with the longstanding poetic of elegy via various formal points of entry, is investigated. These poetic modes are primarily explored via close readings, supported by a multidisciplinary framework that includes Anzaldúa’s feminist theories of identity and writing, abjection theory, postcolonialism, and transnationalism. Overall, these four key areas demonstrate the ways in which aesthetics is a crucial consideration in the exploration of the broader issues of content and context in Chicana poetry.
Chicano studies , American literature , Literature , Poetry
Alexander, D. M. 2015. Chicana poetics: genre and style in Gloria Anzaldúa and Lorna Dee Cervantes. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.