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"Ronna Johnson and Nancy Grace have done an invaluable service for students of American literature: their collection begins with an essential essay about ...
"Ronna Johnson and Nancy Grace have done an invaluable service for students of American literature: their collection begins with an essential essay about the three generations of Beat women and then provides fine contributions by critics Anthony Libby, Linda Russo, Maria Damon, Tim Hunt, and others. The value of this book is so clear one must wonder why it wasn't available much earlier."-Linda Wagner-Martin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
What do we know about the women who played an important role in creating the literature of the Beat Generation? Until recently, very little. Studies of the movement have effaced or excluded women writers, such as Elise Cowen, Joyce Johnson, Joanne Kyger, Hettie Jones, and Diane Di Prima, each one a significant figure of the postwar Beat communities. Equally free-thinking and innovative as the founding generation of men, women writers, fluent in Beat, hippie, and women's movement idioms, partook of and bridged two important countercultures of the American mid-century. Persistently foregrounding female experiences in the cold war 1950s and in the counterculture 1960s and in every decade up to the millennium, women writing Beat have brought nonconformity, skepticism, and gender dissent to postmodern culture and literary production in the United States and beyond.
Ronna C. Johnson is a lecturer in the departments of English and American Studies at Tufts University. Nancy M. Grace is an associate professor in the department of English and director of the Program in Writing at The College of Wooster in Ohio. She is the author of The Feminized Male Character in Twentieth-Century Literature.
|Acknowledgments and Permissions|
|Visions and Revisions of the Beat Generation||1|
|The Worm Queen Emerges: Helen Adam and the Forgotten Ballad Tradition||25|
|Diane di Prima: "Nothing Is Lost; It Shines In Our Eyes"||45|
|"And then she went": Beat Departures and Feminine Transgressions in Joyce Johnson's Come and Join the Dance||69|
|What I See in How I Became Hettie Jones||96|
|Who Writes? Reading Elise Cowen's Poetry||119|
|Snapshots, Sand Paintings, and Celluloid: Formal Considerations in the Life Writing of Women Writers from the Beat Generation||141|
|To Deal with Parts and Particulars: Joanne Kyger's Early Epic Poetics||178|
|Revelations of Companionate Love; or, The Hurts of Women: Janine Pommy Vega's Poems to Fernando||205|
|From Revolution to Creation: Beat Desire and Body Poetics in Anne Waldman's Poetry||227|
|Many Drummers, A Single Dance?||251|
|Works Cited and Consulted||267|
|About the Contributors||279|