The Stamp of Class explores the nature of reading poetry in the context of class and its themes and sheds new light on how this important yet little-heralded subject affects the poet's life and work.
While numerous works have taken up the question of race and gender as they relate to literary creation, this is the first book of its kind to probe the interplay between class and American poetry. Author Gary Lenhart considers poetry and class across a wide variety of time periods and poetic trends and reflects on a range of influential poets from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.
The essays in The Stamp of Class deal with the question of class as reflected in the works of Tracie Morris, Tillie Olsen, Melvin Tolson, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, and others. The work is rooted in the author's own experiences as a working-class poet and teacher and is the result of more than a decade of exploration.
Poet and scholar Gary Lenhart is Lecturer in English at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. His most recent books of poetry are Father and Son Night, Light Heart, and One at a Time. His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including the American Poetry Review, American Book Review, and Exquisite Corpse.