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date: 24 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Balancing a traditional focus on ruralness in southern poetry, this chapter analyzes other figurations of the nonhuman surround: built environments, which recur in the region’s life and literature, and make us reconsider the South in connection with larger structures (physical, economic, ideological) underpinning the “modern” nation. Prominent nodes challenge stereotypes of the region as out of sync temporally, spatially, and structurally with the “progressive” nation: the city, the factory, and the suburbs. These spaces reflect the ideation of the United States as a nexus of urban-industrial production and flexible distribution. An array of poets recreate such built environments along a cross-section of subregional spaces of upper, middle, and deep Souths, including Natasha Trethewey (Atlanta), Brenda Marie Osbey (New Orleans), Ron Rash (South Carolina milltown), Allison Hedge Coke (North Carolina factory), Charles Wright (Charlottesville backyard), and Dan Albergotti (South Carolina suburb).

Keywords: pastoralism, built environment, postsouthernism, southscapes, transregionalism, vibrant matter, urban-industrialism, consumer capitalism, suburban sprawl

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