The Feminist Poetry Movement
Kim Whitehead (Author)
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DescriptionThe feminist poetry movement emerged as the women's movement did. It flourished in writing workshops and at open readings, on the kitchen tables, of self-publishing poets/activists, at political rallies, and in the work of established women poets who began slowly to transform their ideas about formal strategies and thematic possibilities.
By 1972 feminist poetry had a solid network of feminist publishing to sustain it, and its practitioners, including Judy Grahn and Adrienne Rich, were publishing poems that contemplated not just the common oppressions faced by women themselves.
This book explores the roots of this movement in the upheavals in American poetry in the 1960s and charts the central components of feminist poetry as they grew out of this period and as they were influenced by important, even revolutionary, women poets--like Emily Dickinson and Muriel Rukeyser--who had gone before. By looking not only at the volumes of poetry that emerged in the 1970s, but also at the abundant women's journals and newspapers that relied on poetry as a mainstay of expression during the period, this book demonstrates the central role that feminist poetry played in forwarding the goals and spirit of the women's movement. It also explores how this movement's early ideas and practices sustained it through periods of social and governmental backlash.
Readings of six representative poets--Judy Grahn, June Jordan, Gloria Anzaldua, Irena Klepfisz, Joy Harjo, and Minnie Bruce Pratt--are also offered here.
These provide a close look at the ways feminist poets not only have successfully proven that a woman can be a poet but also have contributed important practices from their respective cultural traditions and affirmed the necessity to recognize differences between women themselves.
The result is a full portrait of both the roots of feminist poetry in diverse American literary and cultural traditions and the substantial influence feminist poetry wields in the increasingly diverse contemporary poetry scene.
University Press of Mississippi
30 May 2012
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