Date of Award

Fall 1-6-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Amy Moorman Robbins

Second Advisor

Nijah Noel Cunningham

Academic Program Adviser

Janet Neary


Though the lyric-I has often been perceived as an isolated ego, Alice Notley's "I" in her long poem Disobedience (2001) necessitates plurality through what I call a "poetics of encounter." In response to the 1978 Language poetry manifesto "Aesthetic Tendency and the Politics of Poetry," and to the larger well-rehearsed debate about vocal homogeneity and persona centrism in poetry, this paper argues that Notley's poetics of encounter brings the "I" of Disobedience into continual and complex conversation with material history, politics, and mass culture, thus situating it within, and not sequestered from, the world and its mediation.



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