Eleven More American Women Poets in the 21st Century
Poetics Across North America
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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The editors would like to thank Suzanna Tamminen for her support of this project. Many thanks as well to Laura Heinrich, Karen Garven, and especially Afton Woodward for invaluable editorial and administrative support. Permission to reprint copyrighted...
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This anthology has come into being primarily in response to enthusiasm, even excitement about the current state of contemporary poetry in North America and, in particular, that portion being produced by women. It follows up on...
Mary Jo Bang
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The diversity of what is called poetry makes it near-impossible to make any general statement about it outside of perhaps noting that poetry, however it presents itself, usually emerges from a state of absorbed self-interestedness. Paradoxically, that very state...
Articulations of Artifice in the Work of Mary Jo Bang
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A poet of persona, of film and stage metaphor, of persistent eye for visual detail—of insistence that we “look” and “look” once again2—Mary Jo Bang’s six books turn on articulating the artifice of the lyric. Like the photographs of Cindy Sherman, an artist directly evoked in...
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Poetics Statement: Excerpts from an Interview with Charles Rowell
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. . . A person can, I hope, enjoy the poetry without knowing that I am black or female. But it adds to their understanding if they do know it— that is, that I am black and female. To me, that I am what I am is all of it; all of what I am is relevant...
Lucille Clifton’s Communal “i”
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Reading Lucille Clifton’s work demands of her literary critics attention to four decades of poetic production, and to the cultural contexts of those decades. Her first book of poems, Good Times, was published in 1969, and her most recent...
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Poetics Statement: Still Writing the Body
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Coming of age during the civil rights era meant that, in my own writing, my female Eurasian body was a potential subject as opposed to someone else’s object. It was a time when one could re-view something typically female, like intuition, as powerful...
“I Want to Go Where the Hysteric Resides”: Kimiko Hahn’s Re-Articulation of the Feminine in Poetry
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In his introductory lectures on psychoanalysis, Freud reveals the impasse of a male-centered approach to female subjectivity and psychosexuality. Although Freud claims that the “nature of femininity” remains a...
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consents to a few statements one knows ultimately to implicate murder
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Poetics Statement: Siren
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An impending sense of catastrophe stops reverie, me coated in sand. A siren makes its way through traffic. My autonomic nervous system reacts. Before I can know it, I have scrambled onto the sidewalk, ducked under a tree limb, observed I’m in a crowd. What was that...
Listening in on Carla Harryman’s Baby
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Language is first entirely sonic to any baby; it begins pre-birth and continues as a seamless part of the sensual world of infancy. Carla Harryman’s recent book of hybrid genre prose, Baby, creates a highly jocular, edgy, and intellectual adventure...
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Poetics Statement: A practice of possibility, a life in languages
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I’ve been writing for half my life in Montreal, in Québec, where one’s own English is opened up and in constant motion. In daily life, French is the common, civic language, yet, contrary to what you hear, all is not simply English or French here...
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The poet who is the subject of this essay has written under several names. On the covers of her books she may be called Erin Mouré, Erín Moure, or...
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One word is a lyric, two are a narrative. One word by itself, potential contexts in play, meanings “available,” charged by association, suggestion, and unresolved possibility: an event, resonant with histories. Sound sounded, resounding...
Laura Mullen: Threatened as Threat: Rethinking Gender and Genre
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In her 2007 study of New York School, and “New York School-related,” poets, Maggie Nelson notes that “Language writing is remarkable for being one of the first avant-garde movements with many—perhaps a majority— of female innovators, including...
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My poems are comfortable with the idea that experience is a kind of knowing and that technology endlessly delivers new ways for us to describe how that knowing occurs. Putting a book together lately I remembered how I’d initially (like in the 70s) considered...
“When We’re Alone in Public”: The Poetry of Eileen Myles
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Over the past thirty years, Eileen Myles has become a legendary and transformative figure in American literature and culture, by means of accomplishing two things. First, she has produced a prolific, explosive, expansive body of work that has established...
M. Nourbese Philip
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Poetics Statement: Ignoring Poetry (a work in progress)
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This was the first paragraph of a letter covering my manuscripts She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks and Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence sent to publishers in 1987. Some seven years, twenty- five rejections, and eventual publication later...
The Language of Trauma: Faith and Atheism in M. NourbeSe Philip’s Poetry
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What draws me to M. NourbeSe Philip’s poetry is its painful limp—the “ex/plosive tongue on the brink of,”2 trying to remember and speak the past. Although Philip is the author of five collections of poetry (Thorns, 1980...
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Poetics Statement: Procedural Elegies: N Plus Zero
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Why use procedures when one can simply note the succession of things that “naturally” or “logically” come to mind? “Act so that there is no use in a centre,” said Gertrude Stein. Good advice, particularly if the center is “self” without the benefit of centrifugal...
The Method “In Medias Mess”
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Joan Retallack’s book AFTERRIMAGES opens with a quote from Victor Weisskopff, a scientist who served on the Manhattan Project...
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Poetics Statement: Soft Architecture: A Manifesto
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The worn cotton sheets of our little beds had the blurred texture of silk crêpe and when we lay against them in the evening we’d rub, rhythmically, one foot against the soothing folds of fabric, waiting for sleep...
About Surface: Lisa Robertson’s Poetics of Elegance
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In a recent issue of Architectural Digest, Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects argues for elegance as the new watchword guiding the next stage of avant-garde architecture.1 This new, capital “E” Elegance, he argues, riffs on aspects of minimalism...
C. D. Wright
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Like Having a Light at Your Back You Can’t See but You Can Still Feel
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Poetics Statement: My American Scrawl
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Months before Robert Creeley died, we had lunch on Atwell’s Avenue in Providence. We sat at one of those ridiculous, tiny, tippy ice cream tables, in those mean, wire-backed ice cream chairs. My main memory of our conversation is of him wanting...
The Border-Crossing Relational Poetry of C. D. Wright
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“I am a serious border-crosser,” C. D. Wright has written.1 Her poetic journeys have often led readers across the borders between the urban and rural, and between the North and South of the United States. Wright’s poetry initially centered...
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Page Count: 464
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: American Poets in the 21st Century