As the groundbreaking Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics showed, the United States is in the midst of a cultural “big bang”: trans poetry—poetry about trans identity and experience—having exploded out of what seemed to be nothing at the end of the twentieth century, is expanding and diversifying at mind-boggling speed. Through these poems, the long-silenced voices of an oppressed, repressed, suppressed, marginalized, and terrorized minority are making themselves heard, appearing in magazines, blogs, and, increasingly, bookstores, awards ceremonies, and college syllabi.

But this body of poetry represents more than self- or group expression. Trans poetry is a laboratory for developing language in which to express trans identities that cannot be expressed through language based on gender-binary assumptions that everyone is only and always male or female.

These trans-poetic experiments will not only transform the American literary landscape; they...

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