It’s Complicated!

My new essay on the self in lyric poetry, published in the latest print issue of The New Quarterly, is also now available online.

“If we live now in the era of the ‘selfie,’ it’s because selfhood, with its supposed freedoms and agency, is an illusion that can only be upheld with great effort, like those suburban enclaves in the desert whose lawns are unsustainably green. Contemporary poetry written in the first person is often difficult in that it rejects the simplistic falseness of that image by acknowledging and asserting that we are never fully ourselves.”