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Grant number like: FT-53459-05

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Colin Peter James Wells
St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN 55057-1574)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 7/31/2005

The Poetry Wars of the Early American Republic

During the period of the Revolution and the Early Republic, the best American poets engaged in a series of literary "wars" against politicians, journalists, and each other, all in the name of deciding the future of the new nation. My book project aims to reconstruct this episode, first, by recovering for modern readers the vast body of political verse produced in this period, and second, by analyzing the unique dynamic that characterized the period -- within which individual poems were written to combat or circumscribe the discursive content of other poems or texts. By analyzing these literary struggles, I argue, we can more fully understand the more complex development of “America” as a discursive entity during this important period of national formation.