"This Mighty Convulsion" (Paperback)

Whitman and Melville Write the Civil War (Iowa Whitman Series)

By Christopher Sten (Editor), Tyler Hoffman (Editor)

University Of Iowa Press, 9781609386634, 264pp.

Publication Date: November 15, 2019

List Price: 75.00*
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This is the first book exclusively devoted to the Civil War writings of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville, arguably the most important poets of the war. The essays brought together in this volume add significantly to recent critical appreciation of the skill and sophistication of these poets; growing recognition of the complexity of their views of the war; and heightened appreciation for the anxieties they harbored about its aftermath. Both in the ways they come together and seem mutually influenced, and in the ways they disagree, Whitman and Melville grapple with the casualties, complications, and anxieties of the war while highlighting its irresolution. This collection makes clear that rather than simply and straightforwardly memorializing the events of the war, the poetry of Whitman and Melville weighs carefully all sorts of vexing questions and considerations, even as it engages a cultural politics that is never pat.

Contributors: Kyle Barton, Peter Bellis, Adam Bradford, Jonathan A. Cook, Ian Faith, Ed Folsom, Timothy Marr, Cody Marrs, Christopher Ohge, Vanessa Steinroetter, Sarah L. Thwaites, Brian Yothers

About the Author

Christopher Sten is professor of English and American literature at George Washington University. He is the author of The Weaver-God, He Weaves: Melville and the Poetics of the Novel. He lives in Washington, DC.

Tyler Hoffman is professor of English at Rutgers University–Camden. He is the author of Robert Frost and the Politics of Poetry. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.