Many of the essays are new; others are "classics" of poetry criticism. They cover a dazzling range of territory, from discussion of craft to reappraisals of both female and male poets to enlightened backtalk. From Jorie Graham to Eavan Boland, from Adrienne Rich to Rita Dove, the contributors express contemporary poetry's diversity of views and styles.
Have women moved beyond the status of cultural outsiders to become full participants in poetry and its criticism? In By Herself, women poets reconsider their art form on their own terms, and the results are telling: a collection of essays that are original, challenging, playful, ruthlessly individualistic, and inviting.
Includes bibliographical references.
Introduction / Molly McQuade
"It's a Woman's Prerogative to Change Her Mind" / Elizabeth Macklin
Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson / Adrienne Rich
The Difficult Miracle of Black Poetry in America or Something Like a Sonnet for Phillis Wheatley / June Jordan
Being a Dragon: On Marianne Moore / Cynthia Zarin
My Plath Problem / April Bernard
"Either I'm Nobody, or I'm a Nation" / Rita Dove
Edwin Muir and the Primal World / Mary Kinzie
A Meditation on Metaphor / Alicia Ostriker
Some Notes on Silence / Jorie Graham
A Cadenced Privacy / Brenda Hillman
Use This Word in a Sentence: Experimental / Ann Lauterbach
Myself a Kangaroo Among the Beauties / Lucie Brock-Broido
A Genuine Article / Heather McHugh
Confessions of a Postmodern Poetess / Annie Finch
Playing the Changes / Eleanor Wilner
La Faustienne / Lyn Hejinian
Xio's Soakbook: Criticism Takes a Bath / S. X. Rosenstock
Against Decoration / Mary Karr
Poetry, Mattering? / Susan Wheeler
Letter to a Young Woman Poet / Eavan Boland
A Student's Memoir of Muriel Rukeyser / Sharon Olds
Poetry Is Not a Luxury / Audre Lorde
Meditations on "Mecca": Gwendolyn Brooks and the Responsibilities of the Black Poet / Elizabeth Alexander
69 Hidebound Opinions, Propositions, and Several Asides from a Manila Folder Concerning the Stuff of Poetry / C. D. Wright
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