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Cover of book titled Gender Trouble Couplets, Volume 1

Gender Trouble Couplets, Volume 1

A.W. Strouse

A.W. Strouse has undertaken to rewrite Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, into an octosyllabic poem. Inspired by the rhyming encyclopedias of the Middle Ages, Strouse transforms each of Butler’s sentences into punchy medieval couplets. This performative repetition of Chapter 1 of Butler’s classic treatise on gender, identity, and sexuality, “Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire,” deconstructs Butler’s deconstruction. Relishing in the campiness of rhyme and meter—in the bodily pleasures of form—Strouse’s Gender Trouble Couplets, Volume 1 is an imitation for which there is no original. Butler’s Gender Trouble, perhaps, was poetry all along. A.W. Strouse teaches medieval literature at The New School, and has published a wide variety of creative works, including My Gay Middle Ages (punctum, 2015) and with Patty Barth, Transfer Queen (punctum, 2018).

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