Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


English Language and Literatures


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Patrick Scott


This paper seeks to contextualize the work of Wilmer Mills, a late, minor Southeastern American poet, within the complex and frequently misread tradition of New Formalism, as this manifested in the United States shortly after World War II. The analysis places Mills‟s work in conversation with the formalist philosophy of former U.S. Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur, and it suggests that both Mills‟s poetry and his reception amongst fellow academics who adhered to a more progressive philosophy demonstrates the continued relevance of this older, less-often discussed strain of formalism in American poetry. An appendix presents the first checklist of Mills‟s published writings since his initialmajor publication in 1998.