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Irreverent and provoking, the figure of the 'queer troublemaker' is a disruptive force both poetically and politically. Tracing the genealogy of this figure in modern avant-garde American poetry, Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain develops innovative close readings of the works of Gertrude Stein, Frank O'Hara, Eileen Myles and Maggie Nelson. Exploring how these writers play with identity, gender, sexuality and genre, Bussey-Chamberlain constructs a queer poetics of flippancy that can subvert ideas of success and failure, affect and affectation, performance and performativity, poetry and being.