Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Wendy Flory

Committee Chair

Wendy Flory

Committee Member 1

Lance Duerfahrd

Committee Member 2

Daniel Morris

Committee Member 3

Arkady Plotnitsky


Directly or indirectly, poetry produced in the postmodern era is implicated in the politics of the time. Postmodern American poetry, then, is not reducible to a single poetic mode or to a specific set of stylistic features. In other words, a more comprehensive understanding of postmodern American poetry can be made by employing a flexible version of Raymond Williams’ notion of uneven development, a theory that insists on the synchronic existence of dominant, residual, and emergent cultural elements. As the stylistically and politically diverse work of the six poets—Susan Howe, Robert Grenier, Gary Snyder, A.R. Ammons, Sherman Alexie, and Kenneth Goldsmith—examined in this dissertation illustrates, postmodernism is a period in which multiple modes or versions of postmodern poetry exist and flourish.