This dissertation examines the vital experimental French poetry of the 1980s to the present.  Whereas earlier twentieth century poets often shunned common speech, poets today seek instead to appropriate, adapt, and reorganize a wide variety of contemporary discourses.  Narrative also reemerges both in hybridized writing fusing prose and verse and in sequences of digressions and anecdotes.  Poetic form becomes specific to a given text as poets adapt techniques from other fields, such as the visual arts, and integrate a wide array of media into literary works.  In recent works, poets such as Emmanuel Hocquard and Olivier Cadiot incorporate new media into pieces that move literature from the book to video and performance spaces.  I argue that these new poetic activities challenge traditional definitions of poetry as lyrical expression through formal innovation and alternative concepts of identity and affect.

Dissertation Advisor: Mary Ann Caws

Committee: Peter Consenstein and Evelyne Ender