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WRONG

University of Iowa Press, June 2020

Dennis Cooper is one of the most inventive and prolific art­ists of our time. Since he exploded onto the scene in the early 1970s, he has been a punk poet, a queercore novelist, a transgressive blogger, an indie filmmaker—each successive incarnation more ingenious and sur­prising than the last.


WRONG is the first book-length study of Cooper's work, a lively retrospective appraisal of his 50-year career, from his early teen dream poetry to his shocking novels of the 90s to his recent GIF novels. Drawing on extensive archival research, close readings of key works, and new interviews with Cooper and his contemporaries, Hester tracks the emergence of Cooper’s singular style alongside American subcultural movements like New York School poetry, punk rock, and radical queercore music and zines. WRONG weaves a complex and often thrilling biographical narrative that attests to Cooper’s status as a leading figure of the American post-War avant-garde.

Advance praise for WRONG

‘Unfurls a riveting chronicle of Dennis Cooper’s intertwined life and work’

—Wayne Koestenbaum, author, Camp Marmalade

‘Hester’s ferocious sleuthing conveys us to whole new areas of understanding about Cooper’

—Kaplan Harris, coeditor, The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley

‘Oozing with deep gossip, enriched by rare archival materials and intimate personal interviews, WRONG is a model for future scholarship’

—Daniel Kane, author, Do You Have A Band? Poetry and Punk Rock in New York City