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The Harlem Renaissance was a watershed moment for racial uplift, poetic innovation, sexual liberation, and female empowerment. Aphrodite’s Daughters introduces us to three amazing women who were at the forefront of all these developments, poetic iconoclasts who pioneered new and candidly erotic forms of female self-expression.
Maureen Honey paints a vivid portrait of three African American womenAngelina Weld Grimké, Gwendolyn B. Bennett, and Mae V. Cowderywho came from very different backgrounds but converged in late 1920s Harlem to leave a major mark on the literary landscape. She examines the varied ways these poets articulated female sexual desire, ranging from Grimké’s invocation of a Sapphic goddess figure to Cowdery’s frank depiction of bisexual erotics to Bennett’s risky exploration of the borders between sexual pleasure and pain. Yet Honey also considers how they were united in their commitment to the female body as a primary source of meaning, strength, and transcendence.
The product of extensive archival research, Aphrodite’s Daughters draws from Grimké, Bennett, and Cowdery’s published and unpublished poetry, along with rare periodicals and biographical materials, to immerse us in the lives of these remarkable women and the world in which they lived. It thus not only shows us how their artistic contributions and cultural interventions were vital to their own era, but also demonstrates how the poetic heart of their work keeps on beating.
|Publisher:||Rutgers University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||16 - 18 Years|
About the Author
MAUREEN HONEY is a professor of English and women’s and gender studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author or editor of numerous works including Shadowed Dreams: Women’s Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance and Double-Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology (both by Rutgers University Press).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1 The Lyric Poetry of Angelina Weld Grimké, Gwendolyn B. Bennett, and Mae V. Cowdery
2 Angelina Weld Grimké’s Sapphic Temple of Desire
3 Harlem’s Phoenix: Gwendolyn B. Bennett
4 Shattered Mirror: The Failed Promise of Mae V. Cowdery
Appendix A: List of Published Poetry
Appendix B: Selected List of Unpublished Poetry