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Eleven More American Women Poets in the 21st Century

Poetics Across North America

Claudia Rankine

Publication Year: 2012

Eleven More American Women Poets in the 21st Century is an exciting sequel to its predecessors in the American Poets in the 21st Century series. Like the earlier anthologies, this volume includes generous selections of poetry by some of the best poets of our time as well as illuminating poetics statements and incisive essays on their work. This unique organization makes these books invaluable teaching tools. Broadening the lens through which we look at contemporary poetry, this new volume extends its geographical net by including Caribbean and Canadian poets. Representing three generations of women writers, among the insightful pieces included in this volume are essays by Karla Kelsey on Mary Jo Bang's modes of artifice, Christine Hume on Carla Harryman's kinds of listening, Dawn Lundy Martin on M. NourbeSe Phillip (for whom "english / is a foreign anguish"), and Sina Queyras on Lisa Robertson's confoundingly beautiful surfaces. A companion web site will present audio of each poet's work.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

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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Introduction

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pp. 1-18

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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pp. 19-59

High Art

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pp. 19-20

Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters

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pp. 21-

Untitled # 70 (Or, The Question of Remains)

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pp. 22-

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

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pp. 23-

Words

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pp. 24-

And as in Alice

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pp. 25-

B Is for Beckett

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pp. 26-

C Is for Cher

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pp. 26-27

In the Present and Probable Future

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pp. 27-29

Opened and Shut

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pp. 29-30

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Poetics Statement

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pp. 30-33

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...

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Articulations of Artifice in the Work of Mary Jo Bang

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pp. 34-59

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...

Lucille Clifton

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pp. 60-95

from Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969–1980

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pp. 60-

eve’s version

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pp. 61-

lucifer speaks in his own voice

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pp. 61-62

daughters

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pp. 62-63

leda 1

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pp. 64-

leda 3

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pp. 64-

telling our stories

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pp. 65-

the river between us

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pp. 65-66

sorrows

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pp. 66-67

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Poetics Statement: Excerpts from an Interview with Charles Rowell

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pp. 67-68

. . . 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...

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Lucille Clifton’s Communal “i”

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pp. 68-95

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...

Kimiko Hahn

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pp. 96-126

Orchid Root

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pp. 96-98

Garnet

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pp. 98-99

Utica Station Dep.10:07 a.m. to N.Y. Penn Station

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pp. 99-103

In Childhood

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pp. 104-

Like Lavrinia

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pp. 104-106

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Poetics Statement: Still Writing the Body

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pp. 107-110

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...

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“I Want to Go Where the Hysteric Resides”: Kimiko Hahn’s Re-Articulation of the Feminine in Poetry

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pp. 110-126

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...

Carla Harryman

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pp. 127-160

Now. Word. Technology.

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pp. 127-

Dark. Swat. Land.

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pp. 128-

The. Open. Box.

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pp. 129-

Baby. N. Baseball. Song.

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pp. 130-

Wartime Surroundings.

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pp. 131-

consents to a few statements one knows ultimately to implicate murder

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pp. 132-133

it is difficult to write satire

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pp. 134-

the opposite of slackness

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pp. 135-136

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Poetics Statement: Siren

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pp. 136-142

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...

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Listening in on Carla Harryman’s Baby

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pp. 142-160

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...

Erín Moure

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pp. 161-188

document32 (inviolable)

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pp. 161-

document33 (arena)

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pp. 162-

Eleventh Impermeable of the Carthage of Harms

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pp. 163-

Theatre of the Confluence (A Carixa)

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pp. 164-

Theatre of the Stones that Ran (Fontao, 1943)

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pp. 165-

Theatre of the Millo Seco (Botos)

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pp. 166-

[T]he best woman i ever saw.

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pp. 167-

This night of liquid storms, high noon s dwelling

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pp. 168-

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Poetics Statement: A practice of possibility, a life in languages

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pp. 169-171

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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Moure’s Abrasions

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pp. 171-188

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...

Laura Mullen

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pp. 189-228

Sudden cold

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pp. 189-190

(“A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody”)

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pp. 191-193

Secrets

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pp. 193-195

35 1/2

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pp. 195-196

I removed the plot.

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pp. 197-198

Circles

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pp. 198-199

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Poetics Statement

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pp. 200-203

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...

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Laura Mullen: Threatened as Threat: Rethinking Gender and Genre

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pp. 204-228

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...

Eileen Myles

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pp. 229-260

Transitions

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pp. 229-232

Snowflake

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pp. 232-234

To My Class

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pp. 234-237

Questions

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pp. 237-239

Hi

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pp. 239-241

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Poetics Statement

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pp. 241-242

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...

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“When We’re Alone in Public”: The Poetry of Eileen Myles

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pp. 242-260

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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pp. 261-307

Discourse on the Logic of Language

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pp. 262-265

from Universal Grammar

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pp. 266-271

Zong! # 2

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pp. 272-

Zong! # 4

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pp. 273-

Ferrum (excerpt)

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pp. 274-278

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Poetics Statement: Ignoring Poetry (a work in progress)

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pp. 279-282

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...

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The Language of Trauma: Faith and Atheism in M. NourbeSe Philip’s Poetry

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pp. 283-307

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...

Joan Retallack

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pp. 308-351

read read for real...

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pp. 308-309

The Woman in the Chinese Room

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pp. 310-313

If all the type in a printing-press...

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pp. 313-315

Curiosity and the Claim to Happiness

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pp. 316-319

Lost Brief Case Conjecture

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pp. 320-

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Poetics Statement: Procedural Elegies: N Plus Zero

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pp. 321-326

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...

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The Method “In Medias Mess”

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pp. 326-351

Joan Retallack’s book AFTERRIMAGES opens with a quote from Victor Weisskopff, a scientist who served on the Manhattan Project...

Lisa Robertson

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pp. 352-385

Residence at C__

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pp. 352-353

Tuesday

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pp. 353-355

Residence at C__

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pp. 356-

Saturday

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pp. 356-358

from Utopia (R’s Boat)

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pp. 358-361

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Poetics Statement: Soft Architecture: A Manifesto

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pp. 361-364

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...

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About Surface: Lisa Robertson’s Poetics of Elegance

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pp. 365-385

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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pp. 386-423

Floating Trees

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pp. 386-388

Privacy

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pp. 388-

from Cooling Time

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pp. 389-390

Dear Prisoner

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pp. 390-

My Dear Conflicted Reader

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pp. 391-

Dear Child of God

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pp. 391-392

Re: Happiness, in pursuit thereof

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pp. 392-

Like Having a Light at Your Back You Can’t See but You Can Still Feel

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pp. 393-

Like a Prisoner of Soft Words

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pp. 394-

Like Something in His Handwriting

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pp. 395-

Like Something Flying Backwards

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pp. 396-

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Poetics Statement: My American Scrawl

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pp. 397-398

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...

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The Border-Crossing Relational Poetry of C. D. Wright

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pp. 399-423

“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...

Contributors

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pp. 425-429

Index

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pp. 431-445


E-ISBN-13: 9780819572363
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819572349

Page Count: 464
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: American Poets in the 21st Century

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • American poetry -- Women authors.
  • Women -- United States -- Poetry.
  • American poetry -- 21st century.
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