Form, Format, Genre, Medium: Poetry and Print in the Nineteenth-Century U.S.

Date: 24 July 2017
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UVA Special Collections
Lecturer: Meredith L. McGill - Associate Professor of English, Rutgers University

Histories of the book in America have taken little notice of poetry as a factor in the rise of mass print, despite the strong presence of poems in a wide range of popular print formats and despite the fact that many antebellum writers and readers assumed that the very possibility of a democratic culture depended on the fate of American verse. In this talk I will explore how attention to print formats might illuminate our histories of poetic form. I will argue that approaching poetry as a multimedia art—one that is keenly attuned to aural and visual representation—is vital if we are to put literary history into sustained dialogue with print and media history.