This talk explores the role end rhyme has to play in the construction of poetic authority. Rhyme sets up an epistemological paradox: forms and meanings seem to correlate, and thus to be true and trustworthy, but there are reasons to distrust what the poet says at line’s end. Rhyme is a potent locus in which the problem of believability is foregrounded. It also foregrounds, through its reliance on artifice, the presence of an author or authors. I’m interested in the relationship of these properties to rhyme position, which I discuss as a place where formal constraint can result in the display or concealment of poetic skill.
Julian Talamantez Brolaski (it / its / itself) is poet and country singer, the author of Of Mongrelitude (Wave Books 2017), Advice for Lovers (City Lights 2012), and gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011). With Juan & the Pines, Julian released an EP Glittering Forest in 2019; its first full-length solo album is coming out this fall. Julian is the recipient of the 2020 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry and a 2021 Pew Foundation Fellowship. Its poetry was recently included in When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020) and We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat 2020).
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