Jennifer Soong’s areas of research include poetry and poetics, aesthetics, and Modern and contemporary American literature. She received her BA from Harvard and her PhD in English from Princeton.
Soong is currently working on two book projects. Poetic Forgetting investigates the evolution and legacy of a certain Modernist conception: that forgetting can constitute a creative principle and artistic practice. She argues that American poets in the last 150 years have been drawn to forgetting, but not as the mere rejection of a literary past or as an apophatic poetics. Tracing forgetting’s influence on Gertrude Stein, Lyn Hejinian, Tan Lin, and New York School poets John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Bernadette Mayer, and Ted Berrigan, among others, her project contends that forgetting’s shapeshifting produces differences in poetic style, interest, and genre—and that such malleability is part of forgetting’s nature.
Her second book project The Minor Poet is an intellectual history of the figure of the minor poet. Asking why a poet of a given age might actually aspire to be a minor poet, the project explores topics such as ambition, influence, the personal and idiosyncratic, and obscurity.
She is also a poet and interested in small press publishing. Her works include Near, At (Futurepoem ’19), When I Ask My Friend (bound with Dan Owen’s Points of Amperture, DoubleCross Press ’21), Contempt (Spam Zine & Press ’21), and Suede Mantis / Soft Rage (Black Sun Lit, ’22).