Jennifer Soong

Jennifer Soong (B.A. Harvard University '14) works on literature from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a focus on poetry and poetics. Her dissertation Poetic Forgetting studies the relations between poets, poetry, and forgetting in the wake of a certain Modernist conception: that forgetting can constitute a creative principle and artistic practice. The project examines how various American poets, in the last 150 years, have been drawn to forgetting, but not as the mere rejection of a literary past or as a form of “negative,” apophatic poetics. From the “deliberate forgetting” of Gertrude Stein’s avant-garde, to the New York School poets’ investment in forgetting the future, the comic forgetting of Lyn Hejinian, and forgettability in Tan Lin’s ambient poetry, her dissertation carves a space for poetic forgetting distinct from forgetting’s traditional definitions as loss, suppression, erasure, and error.

Her article “The ‘To-Do’ List Poem: Prospective Memory and A New York School Genre” is forthcoming in Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 43, no. 4, Summer 2020.

Additional projects include running Poetry@Princeton and the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Library, and co-organizing both the Contemporary Poetry Colloquium and the Contemporary Poetry Reading Group. Jennifer has taught for ENG395-AMS384 “Food, Literature, and the American Racial Diet” (Spring 2019) and ENG385 “Children’s Literature” (Spring 2018). 

Jennifer is also the author of a collection of poetry Near, At (Futurepoem 2019) and the Poetry Editor at art/lit magazine Nat. Brut. Her poetry has appeared in Berkeley Poetry Review, Social Text, DIAGRAM, Prelude, among others, and has been translated into Spanish.