Although many practice the art, contemporary French women poets generally have been vastly underrepresented in periodicals and anthologies. In the only anthology to feature avant-garde French women poets exclusively, Gavronsky shows how Kaplan, Grangaud, Portugal, Lapeyrère, Giraudon, and Risset differ from their American counterparts.
Before presenting his translations of the poems, Gavronsky gives each poet the opportunity to define herself in terms of major influences on her poetry, distinctive traits in her writing, major themes in her work, and the influence of gender on her art. The poets also speculate about the relative underrepresentation of women poets in French periodicals and anthologies as well as about the form poetry might take in the twenty-first century.
The poems in this volume are simultaneously delightful, informative, and combative. They typify, according to Gavronsky, some of the main currents of a poetics in the making, a poetics little known in the United States. In reaffirming women’s involvement with poetry, Gavronsky believes that he has "reconnected today’s work with an immemorial tradition that, in France, clearly goes back to [the] Middle Ages."
About the Author
Serge Gavronsky, born in Paris, France, is a professor in and chair of the Department of French at Barnard College, Columbia University. He has published both French and English poetry in books, magazines, and anthologies in the United States, France, and Italy. A novelist and literary critic, he has translated American poetry into French as well as French poetry into English.