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American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language / Edition 1

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Overview

Poetry in America is flourishing in this new millennium and asking serious questions of itself: Is writing marked by gender and if so, how? What does it mean to be experimental? How can lyric forms be authentic? This volume builds on the energetic tensions inherent in these questions, focusing on ten major American women poets whose collective work shows an incredible range of poetic practice.
Each section of the book is devoted to a single poet and contains new poems; a brief "statement of poetics" by the poet herself in which she explores the forces — personal, aesthetic, political — informing her creative work; a critical essay on the poet's work; a biographical statement; and a bibliography listing works by and about the poet. Underscoring the dynamic give and take between poets and the culture at large, this anthology is indispensable for anyone interested in poetry, gender and the creative process.

CONTRIBUTORS: Rae Armantrout, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Lucie Brock Broido, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Lyn Hejinian, Brenda Hillman, Susan Howe, Ann Lauterbach, Harryette Mullen.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Just as Sappho helped defined the genre when it debuted it ancient Greece as a brief, personal song accompanied by the lyre, so the poets selected here-among them Rae Aramatrout, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Susan Howe, and Harryette Mullen-force us to redefine lyric poetry. In particular, their use of modernist techniques such as fragmentation, disjunction, parataxis, and run-ons and their rejection of confessional techniques and the personal singular voice allow these poets to create a new structure. Many of the resulting images are startling and unique. . .”—Nedra C. Evers, Library Journal

“. . . an ideal teaching anthology for an upper-level course on contemporary women poets, or for that “general reader” interested in this particular site of poetic activity . . . Spahr's introduction is necessary reading.” —Linda Russo, Jacket

“A provocative read for those interested in contemporary poetry . . .”—B. Wallenstein, CHOICE

“American Women Poets in the 21st Century helps to reframe the debate about experiment versus tradition in women's contemporary poetry. . . [and] reveals how very distinctive are 21st century American women poets.” —Laura Hinton, How2

Publishers Weekly
At first, an anthology of women poets in the 21st century seems somewhat premature. But on analysis, the editors have made careful selections that reveal the direction lyric poetry is heading. Accomplished poets themselves, Rankine (English, Barnard Coll.) and Spahr (English, Univ. of Hawaii) believe that women are major contributors to innovation a key element in lyric poetry, which is characterized preeminently by the speaker's sharing his or her thoughts and feelings. Just as Sappho helped define the genre when it debuted in ancient Greece as a brief, personal song accompanied by the lyre, so the poets selected here among them Rae Armatrout, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Susan Howe, and Harryette Mullen force us to redefine lyric poetry. In particular, their use of modernist techniques such as fragmentation, disjunction, parataxis, and run-ons and their rejection of confessional techniques and the personal singular voice allow these poets to create a new structure. Many of the resulting images are startling and unique, such as Ann Lauterbach's "lizard's billowing throat hiccups on a wall." Each poet is represented by several new poems, a critical essay, a brief biography, and a bibliography; in addition, the poets comment on their own work. This volume will be useful for academic libraries and larger public libraries with substantial literature and poetry collections. Nedra C. Evers, Sacramento P.L., CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
At first, an anthology of women poets in the 21st century seems somewhat premature. But on analysis, the editors have made careful selections that reveal the direction lyric poetry is heading. Accomplished poets themselves, Rankine (English, Barnard Coll.) and Spahr (English, Univ. of Hawaii) believe that women are major contributors to innovation a key element in lyric poetry, which is characterized preeminently by the speaker's sharing his or her thoughts and feelings. Just as Sappho helped define the genre when it debuted in ancient Greece as a brief, personal song accompanied by the lyre, so the poets selected here among them Rae Armatrout, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Susan Howe, and Harryette Mullen force us to redefine lyric poetry. In particular, their use of modernist techniques such as fragmentation, disjunction, parataxis, and run-ons and their rejection of confessional techniques and the personal singular voice allow these poets to create a new structure. Many of the resulting images are startling and unique, such as Ann Lauterbach's "lizard's billowing throat hiccups on a wall." Each poet is represented by several new poems, a critical essay, a brief biography, and a bibliography; in addition, the poets comment on their own work. This volume will be useful for academic libraries and larger public libraries with substantial literature and poetry collections. Nedra C. Evers, Sacramento P.L., CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819565471
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 8/13/2002
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION
RAE ARMANTROUT
Poems: “As We’re Told” — “The Plan” — “View” — “Up to Speed” — “Manufacturing”
Poetic Statement: Cheshire Poetics
Critical Essay: Lyricism of the Swerve: The Poetry of Rae Armantrout, by Hank Lazer
MEI-MEI BRUSSENBRUGE
Poems: From “Four Year Old Girl” — From “Kali” — From “The Retired Architect”
Poetic Statement: By Correspondence
Critical Essay: A “Sensitive Empiricism”: Berssenbrugge’s Phenomenological Investigations, by Linda Voris
LUCIE BROCK-BROIDO
Poems: “The One Thousand Days” — “Soul Keeping Company” — “Periodic Table of Ethereal Elements” — “Am Moor” — “Carrowmore”
Poetic Statement: Myself a Kangaroo Among the Beauties
Critical Essay: “Subject, Subjugate, Inthralled”: The Selves of Lucie Brock-Broido, by Stephen Burt
JORIE GRAHAM
Poems: “Exit Wound” — “Covenant” — “Prayer” — “Gulls” — “The Complex Mechanism of the Break” — “In/Silence” — “Philosopher’s Stone”
Poetic Statement: At the Border
Critical Essay: Jorie Graham and Emily Dickinson: Singing to Use the Waiting, by Thomas Gardner
BARBARA GUEST
Poems: “Valorous Time” — “If So, Tell Me” — “Confession of My Images” — “Defensive Rapture” — “An Emphasis Falls on Reality” — “The Farewell Stairway” — “Words”
Poetic Statement: The Forces of the Imagination
Critical Essay: Implacable Poet, Purple Birds: The Work of Barbara Guest, by Sara Lundquist
LYN HEJINIAN
Poems: From “Writing Is an Aid to Memory” — From “Happily”
Poetic Statement: Some Notes toward a Poetics – Critical Essay: Parting with Description, by Craig Dworkin
BRENDA HILLMAN
Poems: “A Geology”
Poetic Statement: Twelve Writings toward a Poetics of Alchemy, Dread, Inconsistency, Betweenness, and California’s Geological Syntax
Critical Essay: “Needing Syntax to Love”: Expressive Experientialism in the Work of Brenda Hillman, by Lisa Sewell
SUSAN HOWE
Poems: “From Chair”
Poetic Statement: The Leaves Are Not Enough to Crown to Cover to Crown to Cover
Critical Essay: Articulating the Inarticulate: Singularities and the Countermethod in Susan Howe, by Ming-Qian Ma
ANN LAUTERBACH
Poems: “In the Museum of the Word (Henri Matisse)” — “S T O N E S (Istanbul, Robert Smithson)”
Poetic Statement: As (It) Is: Toward a Poetics of the Whole Fragment – Critical Essay: “Enlarging the Last Lexicon of Perception” in Ann Lauterbach’s Framed Fragments, by Christine Hume
HARRYETTE MULLEN
Poems: “Wino Rhino” — “Fancy Cortex” — “Music for Homemade Instruments” — “The Anthropic Principle” — “Sleeping with the Dictionary”
Poetic Statement: Imagining the Unimagined Reader
Critical Essay: “Sleeping with the Dictionary”: Harryette Mullen’s “Recylopedia,” by Elizabeth A. Frost
CONTRIBUTORS
INDEX
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