The Stamp of Class

Reflections on Poetry and Social Class
Gary Lenhart
Thoughtfully investigates the important yet little-heralded topic of the effect of class on the poet's life and work


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.

Praise / Awards

  • "The Stamp of Class addresses an important area that has not received sufficient attention. Lenhart directly confronts and deeply analyzes these questions while offering readers his clear, informative discussion."
    —Lorenzo Thomas

  • "Poet and critic Gary Lenhart offers an accessible and engaging critical look at poetry and social class in his new book, The Stamp of Class: Reflections on Poetry & Social Class..."
    William Carlos Williams Review

Look Inside

Copyright © 2005, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted October 2005 and February 2006.

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Product Details

  • 176 pages.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2008
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02152-9

  • PDF: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

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