‘a fragile system, easy to subvert’: homes and homelessness in New York City poetry

Activity: Academic and Industrial eventsGuest lecture or Invited talk


This talk emerges from research into how poets dwell creatively in New York, into how they dwell politically, and into what it means to dwell queerly, to offer alternate models of being/thinking/dwelling in New York, alternate models of private space, and, beyond that, alternate models of the history of New York. Lauren Berlant and Elizabeth Freeman, in Michael Warner’s Fear of a Queer Planet, reveal the ways in which AIDS activist artist collective Gran Fury ‘transform[ed] the passive public space of New York into a zone of political pedagogy’. Following them, this talk will explore presentations of housing, homes, and homelessness in the poetry of four queer New York poets – Langston Hughes, James Schuyler, Audre Lorde, and Eileen Myles – in order to think about the ways in which they transform the city’s private spaces of into similar zones of political pedagogy, re-framing the idea of home and of what it means to be rooted, un-rooted, and sometimes uprooted.
Period5 Feb 2020
Held atUniversity of Westminster, United Kingdom