front cover of Abacus of Loss
Abacus of Loss
A Memoir in Verse
Sholeh Wolpé
University of Arkansas Press, 2022

lbert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” It is in this vein that Sholeh Wolpé’s mesmerizing memoir in verse unfolds. In this lyrical and candid work, her fifth collection of poems, Wolpé invokes the abacus as an instrument of remembering. Through different countries and cultures, she carries us bead by bead on a journey of loss and triumph, love and exile. In the end, the tally is insight, not numbers, and we arrive at a place where nothing is too small for gratitude.

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Above the Birch Line
Poems
Pia Taavila-Borsheim
Gallaudet University Press, 2021
Above the Birch Line reflects a lifetime of observation and experience, and offers glimpses of the loves, aches, and comforts that have accompanied author Pia Taavila-Borsheim along the way. Written primarily in free verse, the poems are imagistic in nature, with an ongoing metaphor of visual representations of nature, especially water. Starting with her childhood and continuing through late adulthood, Taavila-Borsheim ruminates on her parents, travels, marriage, motherhood, and finally, aging and death.
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The Accidental
Poems
Gina Franco
University of Arkansas Press, 2019

Cascading through each of the poems in Gina Franco’s The Accidental is a question: What does it mean to be human in a world where the soul is exalted but the body brutalized? Franco explores the terrain of the borderlands—not just the physical space of the American southwest, but the spaces where lines are drawn between body and soul, God and self, violence and ecstasy. Unfolding along these borders in a torrent of deep contemplation, Franco’s poems bring the reader to the line between accident and choice, delving into the role each plays in creating the lives we are born into and in determining how those lives end. A body caught in a tree after a flood—an accident—calls to mind deliberate violences: crucifixion and lynching.

Guided, even so, by a stark hopefulness, The Accidental makes a character of the soul and traces its pilgrimage from suffering toward transcendence. “The soul saw,” Franco writes, “that it saw through the wound.” This book tenders a creation myth steeped in existential philosophy and shimmering with the vernacular of the ecstatic.

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Adobe Odes
Pat Mora
University of Arizona Press, 2006
Wine-sipping syllables, a communion of bones, impetuous pinches of chile, and parrot-sassy guacamole. With a mélange of aromas and tastes, colors and sounds, award-winning poet Pat Mora invites readers into her home in this new collection of forty-nine odes. Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Odas Elemantales and reinvented with a Latina identity, Mora celebrates the ordinary in lyrics that are anything but. Her poetry is the poetry of space—house patterns and adobe constructions—and the human rhythms that happen inside. It is also the poetry of what she loves—chocolate, books, dandelions, church bells, hope, courage, and even rain. Thick with the microcultures of foodstuffs, family, places, regions, deities, spirits, and literary figures, Mora’s adobe universe is luscious and tactile, elemental and dynamic.

From family gossip and beauty secrets, to women darning hand-me-downs, to reluctant hands carrying bodies across borders, Mora traverses the tangled threads of culture, community, family, gender, and injustice. Her vivid observations together with her deft handling of symmetry and meter make her poetry uniquely insightful, subtle, and elegant. Sprinkled with Spanish and plenty of spice, each ode is a sensory flurry of mind and body. Together they make a cauldron of flavorful, simmering language. They are meant to be savored as they slowly stir the soul.
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Africa Wo/Man Palava
The Nigerian Novel by Women
Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Africa Wo/Man Palava offers the first close look at eight Nigerian women writers and proposes a new vernacular theory based on their work. Flora Nwapa, Adaora Lily Ulasi, Buchi Emecheta, Funmilayo Fakunle, Ifeoma Okoye, Zaynab Alkali, Eno Obong, and Simi Bedford are the writers Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi considers. African womanism, an emerging model of female discourse, is at the heart of their writing. In their work, female resistance shifts from the idea of palava, or trouble, to a focus on consensus, compromise, and cooperation; it tackles sexism, totalitarianism, and ethnic prejudice. Such inclusiveness, Ogunyemi shows, stems from an emphasis on motherhood, acknowledging that everyone is a mother's child, capable of creating palava and generating a compromise.

Ogunyemi uses the novels to trace a Nigerian women's literary tradition that reflects an ideology centered on children and community. Of prime importance is the paradoxical Mammywata figure, the independent, childless mother, who serves as a basis for the new woman in these novels. Ogunyemi tracks this figure through many permutations, from matriarch to exile to woman writer, her multiple personalities reflecting competing loyalties—to self and other, children and nation. Such fragmented personalities characterize the postcolonial condition in their writing. Mapping geographies of pain and endurance, the work opens a space for addressing the palava between different groups of people. Valuable as the first sustained critical study of a substantial but little known body of literature, this book also counters the shortcomings of prevailing "masculinist" theories of black literature in a powerful narrative of the Nigerian world.
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Against a Darkening Sky
Janet Lewis
Ohio University Press, 1985

Against a Darkening Sky was originally published in 1943. Set in a semirural community south of San Francisco, it is the story of an American mother of the mid-1930s and the sustaining influence she brings, through her own profound strength and faith, to the lives of her four growing children.

Scottish by birth, but long a resident of America, Mary Perrault is married to a Swiss-French gardener. Their life in South Encina, though anything but lavish, is gay, serene, and friendly. As their children mature and the world outside, less peaceful and secure than the Perrault home, begins to threaten the equilibrium of their tranquil lives, Mrs. Perrault becomes increasingly aware of a moral wilderness rising from the physical wilderness which her generation has barely conquered.

Her struggle to influence, while not invading the lives of her children, is the focus of this novel of family life during the Depression years.

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The Age of Discovery and Other Stories
Becky Hagenston
The Ohio State University Press, 2021
“At its essence, this enjoyable collection explores how nothing is ever exactly as it seems.”—Booklist

“These ingenious stories are so funny and sparkling and slyly inventive that their pain catches you by surprise, like a sunburn after a day at the beach.”—Eric Puchner

Winner, 2022 Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters Prize for Best Fiction


In Becky Hagenston’s fourth collection, the real and the fantastic collide in stories that span from Mississippi to Europe, and from the recent past to the near future. The characters are sex-toy sellers, internet trolls, parents, students, and babysitters—all trying to make sense of a world where nothing is quite what it appears to be. A service robot makes increasingly disturbing requests. A middle school teacher is accused of witchcraft—and realizes the accusations might be true. Two college students devise a way to avoid getting hit on in bars. A baker finds bizarre anomalies in his sourdough. A librarian follows her dead ex-husband through the Atlanta airport. In these stories, men and women confront grief, danger, loneliness, and sometimes—the strangest discovery of all—unexpected joy. Hagenston delivers a collection that is, at its weird and shining heart, about people discovering what—for better or worse—they are capable of.
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Agua Santa / Holy Water
Pat Mora
University of Arizona Press, 2007
Drawing on oral and lyrical traditions, this book honors the grace and spirit of mothers, daughters, lovers, and goddesses. From a tribute to Frida Kahlo to advice from an Aztec goddess, the poems explore the intimate and sacred spaces of borderlands through many voices: a revolutionary, a domestic worker, a widow.
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Aina Hanau / Birth Land
Brandy Nalani McDougall
University of Arizona Press, 2023
‘Āina Hānau / Birth Land is a powerful collection of new poems by Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) poet Brandy Nālani McDougall. ‘Āina hānau—or the land of one’s birth—signifies identity through intimate and familial connections to place and creates a profound bond between the people in a community. McDougall’s poems flow seamlessly between ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i and English, forming rhythms and patterns that impress on the reader a deep understanding of the land. Tracing flows from the mountains to the ocean, from the sky to the earth, and from ancestor to mother to child, these poems are rooted in the rich ancestral and contemporary literature of Hawaiʻi —moʻolelo, moʻokūʻauhau, and mele —honoring Hawaiian ʻāina, culture, language, histories, aesthetics, and futures.

The poems in Āina Hānau / Birth Land cycle through sacred and personal narratives while exposing and fighting ongoing American imperialism, settler colonialism, militarism, and social and environmental injustice to protect the ʻāina and its people. The ongoing environmental crisis in Hawaiʻi, inextricably linked to colonialism and tourism, is captured with stark intensity as McDougall writes, Violence is what we settle for / because we’ve been led to believe / green paper can feed us / more than green land. The experiences of birth, motherhood, miscarriage, and the power of Native Hawaiian traditions and self-advocacy in an often dismissive medical system is powerfully narrated by the speaker of the titular poem, written for McDougall’s daughters.

‘Āina Hānau reflects on what it means to be from and belong to an ʻāina hānau, as well as what it means to be an ‘āina hānau, as all mothers serve as the first birth lands for their children.
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The Alcestis Machine
Poems
Carolyn Oliver
Acre Books, 2024

Inspired by the Greek myth of Alcestis, this poetry collection brings to life myriad voices who venture beyond the known world and exist between realities.

In Greek mythology, Alcestis descends to the mysterious kingdom of death in her beloved’s place. In The Alcestis Machine, Carolyn Oliver’s second poetry collection, loss and queer desire echo across the multiverse. “In another life, I’m a . . .” sea witch or swineherd, vampire or troubadour, florist or fossil or museum guard, Oliver writes. These parallel personas inhabit space stations and medieval villages, excavate the Devonian seabed, and plumb a subterranean Anthropocene. In possible futures and imagined pasts, they might encounter “all wrong turns and broken signs” or carry “a suitcase full of stars.”

Oliver’s poems are animated by lush, unsettling verse and forms both traditional and experimental. The Alcestis Machine demonstrates how very present absence can be and how desire knows no boundaries. In neighborhood subdivisions or the vast reaches of space, it’s impossible to know “whose time is slipping / again.” Anyone “could come loose / from gravity’s shine.”

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All Blue So Late
Poems
Laura Swearingen-Steadwell
Northwestern University Press, 2018
All Blue So Late presents the panorama of a young woman’s life as she struggles to come to terms with her place in the world. These poems look to race, gender, and American identity, plumbing the individual’s attendant grief, rage, and discomfort with these constructs.

The skeleton of this fine collection is a series of direct addresses to the author’s fourteen-year-old self, caught at the moment between girlhood and womanhood, when her perspective on everything suddenly changes. Swearingen-Steadwell’s poetic adventures through worlds within and without reveal the restlessness of the seeker. They offer unabashed tenderness to anyone who reckons with solitude, and chases joy.
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All Contraries Confounded
The Lyrical Fiction
Karen Kaivola
University of Iowa Press, 1991
This insightful volume extends feminist critical studies of twentieth-century women writers as it examines the complex ways female subjectivity experiences and is shaped by gender and power in literary texts. Because of the ways ambivalence and contradiction operate in the works of Woolf, Barnes, and Duras, to read them is to able to interrogate and thus more fully understand the ways our own subjectivity are constructed in relation to complex configurations of desire, loss, sexuality, power, vulnerability, and violence.
Kaivola has worked out a strikingly original means of reading difference—and reading differently—in order to account for what has been inexplicable in different literary texts by women. All Contraries Confounded seeks to problematize feminist theory that celebrates resistance in fiction by women, for it questions the ability of dominant modes of feminist critical theory to recognize and address fully the forms of contradiction and ambivalence that riddle women's writings—and women's lives.
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America the Middlebrow
Women's Novels, Progressivism, and Middlebrow Authorship between the Wars
Jaime Harker
University of Massachusetts Press, 2007
Between the two world wars, American publishing entered a "golden age" characterized by an explosion of new publishers, authors, audiences, distribution strategies, and marketing techniques. The period was distinguished by a diverse literary culture, ranging from modern cultural rebels to working-class laborers, political radicals, and progressive housewives. In America the Middlebrow, Jaime Harker focuses on one neglected mode of authorship in the interwar period—women's middlebrow authorship and its intersection with progressive politics.

With the rise of middlebrow institutions and readers came the need for the creation of the new category of authorship. Harker contends that these new writers appropriated and adapted a larger tradition of women's activism and literary activity to their own needs and practices. Like sentimental women writers and readers of the 1850s, these authors saw fiction as a means of reforming and transforming society. Like their Progressive Era forebears, they replaced religious icons with nationalistic images of progress and pragmatic ideology. In the interwar period, this mode of authorship was informed by Deweyan pragmatist aesthetics, which insisted that art provided vicarious experience that could help create humane, democratic societies.

Drawing on letters from publishers, editors, agents, and authors, America the Middlebrow traces four key moments in this distinctive culture of letters through the careers of Dorothy Canfield, Jessie Fauset, Pearl Buck, and Josephine Herbst. Both an exploration of a virtually invisible culture of letters and a challenge to monolithic paradigms of modernism, the book offers fresh insight into the ongoing tradition of political domestic fiction that flourished between the wars.
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front cover of American Culture, Canons, and the Case of Elizabeth Stoddard
American Culture, Canons, and the Case of Elizabeth Stoddard
Robert McClure Smith
University of Alabama Press, 2003
Reconsiders the centrality of a remarkable American writer of the ante- and postbellum periods

Elizabeth Stoddard was a gifted writer of fiction, poetry, and journalism; successfully published within her own lifetime; esteemed by such writers as William Dean Howells and Nathaniel Hawthorne; and situated at the epicenter of New York’s literary world. Nonetheless, she has been almost excluded from literary memory and importance. This book seeks to understand why. By reconsidering Stoddard’s life and work and her current marginal status in the evolving canon of American literary studies, it raises important questions about women’s writing in the 19th century and canon formation in the 20th century.

Essays in this study locate Stoddard in the context of her contemporaries, such as Dickinson and Hawthorne, while others situate her work in the context of major 19th-century cultural forces and issues, among them the Civil War and Reconstruction, race and ethnicity, anorexia and female invalidism, nationalism and localism, and incest. One essay examines the development of Stoddard’s work in the light of her biography, and others probe her stylistic and philosophic originality, the journalistic roots of her voice, and the elliptical themes of her short fiction. Stoddard’s lifelong project to articulate the nature and dynamics of woman’s subjectivity, her challenging treatment of female appetite and will, and her depiction of the complex and often ambivalent relationships that white middle-class women had to their domestic spaces are also thoughtfully considered.

The editors argue that the neglect of Elizabeth Stoddard’s contribution to American literature is a compelling example of the contingency of critical values and the instability of literary history. This study asks the question, “Will Stoddard endure?” Will she continue to drift into oblivion or will a new generation of readers and critics secure her tenuous legacy?
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American Sex Tape
Jameka Williams
University of Wisconsin Press, 2022
Moving beyond a biting indictment of American popular culture, Jameka Williams captures the reader’s gaze and stares right back: “I’m sorry, America, but I’m rich in baby oil & paperback novels only these days. So finish paying for me with what is mint. No conditions.” In this stunning debut collection, Williams offers a deeply personal investigation into how Americans (herself included) have been duped, buying into classism, sexism, and racist beauty ideals, while sacrificing the freedom of self-love and self-determination. With whip-fast profanity and fiery humor, she charts a tender, exalting, and vibrant path to freedom from mirrors, stages, and screens.

Fiercely feminist, Black, American, and powerful, Williams speaks for a generation of obsessive social media influencers and consumers, revealing the complex ways in which we are all actors, witnesses, and victims in our public and private performances. Though we may be permanent residents of this soulless cultural landscape, this stunning collection refuses to let it define us.
 
I am not the same machine which came rambling
off the conveyor belt, hugging the bolts & wires
spilling from her vivisection. I’m last year’s model
with a sleeker, softer system of cool disdain for
my Internet addictions.  
—Excerpt from "I Intend to Outlast"
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American Socialist Triptych
The Literary-Political Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois
Mark W. Van Wienen
University of Michigan Press, 2014

"A meticulously researched, highly informed, carefully argued, and very accessible account of American socialism, socialists, and socialistic thinking, from the late nineteenth century through the 1960s . . . challenges the intellectual and political legacy of Werner Sombart's Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?, whose spirit still hovers over animated discussions about the 'failures' of socialism in the United States."
---James A. Miller, George Washington University

"A valuable rethinking and reframing of the traditions of leftist literary scholarship in the U.S."
---Sylvia Cook, University of Missouri, St. Louis

American Socialist Triptych: The Literary-Political Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois explores the contributions of three writers to the development of American socialism over a fifty--year period and asserts the vitality of socialism in modern American literature and culture.

Drawing upon a wide range of texts including archival sources, Mark W. Van Wienen demonstrates the influence of reform-oriented, democratic socialism both in the careers of these writers and in U.S. politics between 1890 and 1940. While offering unprecedented in-depth analysis of modern American socialist literature, this book charts the path by which the supposedly impossible, dangerous ideals of a cooperative commonwealth were realized, in part, by the New Deal.

American Socialist Triptych provides in-depth, innovative readings of the featured writers and their engagement with socialist thought and action. Upton Sinclair represents the movement's most visible manifestation, the Socialist Party of America, founded in 1901; Charlotte Perkins Gilman reflects the socialist elements in both feminism and 1890s reform movements, and W. E. B. Du Bois illuminates social democratic aspirations within the NAACP. Van Wienen's book seeks to re-energize studies of Sinclair by treating him as a serious cultural figure whose career peaked not in the early success of The Jungle but in his nearly successful 1934 run for the California governorship. It also demonstrates as never before the centrality of socialism throughout Gilman's and Du Bois's literary and political careers.

More broadly, American Socialist Triptych challenges previous scholarship on American radical literature, which has focused almost exclusively on the 1930s and Communist writers. Van Wienen argues that radical democracy was not the phenomenon of a decade or of a single group but a sustained tradition dispersed within the culture, providing a useful genealogical explanation for how socialist ideas were actually implemented through the New Deal.

American Socialist Triptych also revises modern American literary history, arguing for the endurance of realist and utopian literary modes at the height of modernist literary experimentation and showing the importance of socialism not only to the three featured writers but also to their peers, including Edward Bellamy, Hamlin Garland, Jack London, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Claude McKay. Further, by demonstrating the importance of social democratic thought to feminist and African American campaigns for equality, the book dialogues with recent theories of radical egalitarianism. Readers interested in American literature, U.S. history, political theory, and race, gender, and class studies will all find in American Socialist Triptych a valuable and provocative resource.

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Amorous Hope, A Pastoral Play
A Bilingual Edition
Valeria Miani
Iter Press, 2020
A seventeenth-century play showing the reality of life for women.
 
Valeria Miani’s Amorous Hope is a play of remarkable richness, subtlety, and verve. It presents a scathing exposure of society’s double-standards and it champions women’s dramatic agency by centering on the bleak reality they often faced, a reality that attempted to harm and silence its victims. The play’s salient episodes reflect realities modern women still face today.
 
Miani’s literary achievements attest to her emergence as a cultural protagonist alongside Europe’s most talented women writers, such as Isabella Andreini, and she challenged the premodern notion that a woman’s eloquence is an indication of her sexual promiscuity.
 
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Amy Levy
Critical Essays
Naomi Hetherington
Ohio University Press, 2010

Amy Levy has risen to prominence in recent years as one of the most innovative and perplexing writers of her generation. Embraced by feminist scholars for her radical experimentation with queer poetic voice and her witty journalistic pieces on female independence, she remains controversial for her representations of London Jewry that draw unmistakably on contemporary antisemitic discourse.

Amy Levy: Critical Essays brings together scholars working in the fields of Victorian cultural history, women’s poetry and fiction, and the history of Anglo-Jewry. The essays trace the social, intellectual, and political contexts of Levy’s writing and its contemporary reception. Working from close analyses of Levy’s texts, the collection aims to rethink her engagement with Jewish identity, to consider her literary and political identifications, to assess her representations of modern consumer society and popular culture, and to place her life and work within late-Victorian cultural debate.

This book is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students offering both a comprehensive literature review of scholarship-to-date and a range of new critical perspectives.

Contributors:
Susan David Bernstein,University of Wisconsin-Madison
Gail Cunningham,Kingston University
Elizabeth F. Evans,Pennslyvania State University–DuBois
Emma Francis,Warwick University
Alex Goody,Oxford Brookes University
T. D. Olverson,University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Lyssa Randolph,University of Wales, Newport
Meri-Jane Rochelson,Florida International University

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Ancient Light
Poems
Kimberly Blaeser
University of Arizona Press, 2024
Elegiac and powerful, Ancient Light uses lyric, narrative, and concrete poems to give voice to some of the most pressing ecological and social issues of our time.

With vision and resilience, Kimberly Blaeser’s poetry layers together past, present, and futures. Against a backdrop of pandemic loss and injustice, MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), hidden graves at Native American boarding schools, and destructive environmental practices, Blaeser’s innovative poems trace pathways of kinship, healing, and renewal. They celebrate the solace of natural spaces through sense-laden geo-poetry and picto-poems. With an Anishinaabe sensibility, her words and images invoke an ancient belonging and voice the deep relatedness she experiences in her familiar watery regions of Minnesota.

The collection invites readers to see with a new intimacy the worlds they inhabit. Blaeser brings readers to the brink, immerses them in the darkest regions of the Anthropocene, in the dangerous fallacies of capitalism, and then seeds hope. Ultimately, as the poems enact survivance, they reclaim Indigenous stories and lifeways.
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The Angel of Obsession
Julie Suk
University of Arkansas Press, 1992

Winner of the 1991 Arkansas Poetry Award, 1992 Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Award, and 1993 Bess Hokin Prize

Others may lament the uncertainties and disappointments of life, but Julie Suk, winner of the second annual Arkansas Poetry Award, embraces its tumult. Turning from the unsullied angels and the paradises captured by generations of artists, these poems focus instead on those who have abandoned heaven for the world of such mundane matters as family, loneliness, love, and loss. Rousing us to the passion and wonder that define our essential humanity, The Angel of Obsession celebrates the full, ragged canvas of living.

Suk’s poetry has previously appeared in The Georgia Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Poetry, and other important literary magazines. The Angel of Obsession was selected for publication from a field of more than five hundred entries by the poet John Stone.

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Anglo-American Feminist Challenges to the Rhetorical Traditions
Virginia Woolf, Mary Daly, Adrienne Rich
Krista Ratcliffe
Southern Illinois University Press, 1996

Although women and men have different relationships to language and to each other, traditional theories of rhetoric do not foreground such gender differences. Krista Ratcliffe argues that because feminists generally have not conceptualized their language theories from the perspective of rhetoric and composition studies, rhetoric and composition scholars must construct feminist theories of rhetoric by employing a variety of interwoven strategies: recovering lost or marginalized texts; rereading traditional rhetoric texts; extrapolating rhetorical theories from such nonrhetoric texts as letters, diaries, essays, cookbooks, and other sources; and constructing their own theories of rhetoric.

Focusing on the third option, Ratcliffe explores ways in which the rhetorical theories of Virginia Woolf, Mary Daly, and Adrienne Rich may be extrapolated from their Anglo-American feminist texts through examination of the interrelationship between what these authors write and how they write. In other words, she extrapolates feminist theories of rhetoric from interwoven claims and textual strategies. By inviting Woolf, Daly, and Rich into the rhetorical traditions and by modeling the extrapolation strategy/methodology on their writings, Ratcliffe shows how feminist texts about women, language, and culture may be reread from the vantage point of rhetoric to construct feminist theories of rhetoric. She also outlines the pedagogical implications of these three feminist theories of rhetoric, thus contributing to ongoing discussions of feminist pedagogies.

Traditional rhetorical theories are gender-blind, ignoring the reality that women and men occupy different cultural spaces and that these spaces are further complicated by race and class, Ratcliffe explains. Arguing that issues such as who can talk, where one can talk, and how one can talk emerge in daily life but are often disregarded in rhetorical theories, Ratcliffe rereads Roland Barthes’ "The Old Rhetoric" to show the limitations of classical rhetorical theories for women and feminists. Discovering spaces for feminist theories of rhetoric in the rhetorical traditions, Ratcliffe invites readers not only to question how women have been located as a part of— and apart from—these traditions but also to explore the implications for rhetorical history, theory, and pedagogy.

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The Animal Indoors
Carly Inghram
Autumn House Press, 2021
Poems following a Black queer woman as she seeks refuge from an unsafe world.
 
Carly Inghram’s poems explore the day-to-day experiences of a Black queer woman who is ceaselessly bombarded with images of mass-consumerism, white supremacy, and sexism, and who is forced, often reluctantly, back indoors and away from this outside chaos. The poems in The Animal Indoors seek to understand and define the boundaries between our inside and outside lives, critiquing the homogenization and increasing insincerity of American culture and considering what safe spaces exist for Black women. The speaker in these poems seeks refuge, working to keep the interior safe until we can reckon with the world outside, until the speaker is able to “unleash the indoor news onto the unclean water elsewhere.”
 
The Animal Indoors won the 2020 CAAPP Book Prize, selected by Terrance Hayes.
 
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front cover of The Animal Indoors
The Animal Indoors
Carly Inghram
Autumn House Press, 2021
Poems following a Black queer woman as she seeks refuge from an unsafe world.
 
Carly Inghram’s poems explore the day-to-day experiences of a Black queer woman who is ceaselessly bombarded with images of mass-consumerism, white supremacy, and sexism, and who is forced, often reluctantly, back indoors and away from this outside chaos. The poems in The Animal Indoors seek to understand and define the boundaries between our inside and outside lives, critiquing the homogenization and increasing insincerity of American culture and considering what safe spaces exist for Black women. The speaker in these poems seeks refuge, working to keep the interior safe until we can reckon with the world outside, until the speaker is able to “unleash the indoor news onto the unclean water elsewhere.”
 
The Animal Indoors won the 2020 CAAPP Book Prize, selected by Terrance Hayes.
 
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The Animal Is Chemical
Hadara Bar-Nadav
Four Way Books, 2024

Lyrically enacting the cognitive dissonance and embodied contradictions of our contemporary age, Hadara Bar-Nadav’s The Animal Is Chemical collects innovative poems that straddle the frontiers of language and scientific knowledge. She brilliantly draws on her own experience as a medical editor and her family’s history of Holocaust survival to write into the hybrid legacy of Western medicine: part clinical empiricism, part human fallibility and moral bankruptcy. Displaying a robust formal range, these poems move from feverish elegies to drug-pamphlet erasures, tangible articulations of Bar-Nadav’s epigenetic, cultural, and memorial inheritance as a writer navigating chronic illness and pain. In these pages, Nazi medical experiments, pharmaceutical literature, and manifestations of intergenerational trauma collide in the lyrical archive of Bar-Nadav’s latest collection, winner of the 2022 Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry. Just as she illuminates the paradox of time — that we may think of the past as something gone and yet always present in context and legacy — Bar-Nadav proves the enduring ambivalence of pharmakon, that antidote which poisons us, the medicine that kills. This febrile, fierce book casts spells and confronts illusions, ignites grief and awe, and challenges our assumptions about what it means to heal our bodies, our families, and our shared histories. Perhaps this work fulfills the specious salvation it describes in its opening pages, performing an exorcism of truth-telling that harnesses the heat of a “myth in which a god sets us / on fire and then sets us free.” 

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Animal Purpose
Poems
Michelle Y. Burke
Ohio University Press, 2016

In Animal Purpose, Michelle Y. Burke explores the lives of men and women as they stand poised between the desire to love and the compulsion to harm. In one poem, a woman teaches a farmhand the proper way to slaughter a truckload of chickens. In another, a couple confronts the recent loss of a loved one when a stranger makes an unexpected confession in a crowded restaurant. Set in both rural and urban spaces, these poems challenge received ideas about work, gender, and place. Danger blurs into beauty and back again. Burke scours the hard edges of the world to find “fleeting softness,” which she wishes “into the world like pollen that covers everything.”

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Anna Trapnel’s Report and Plea; or, A Narrative of Her Journey from London into Cornwall
Anna Trapnel
Iter Press, 2016

In 1654, Anna Trapnel — a Baptist, Fifth Monarchist, millenarian, and visionary from London — fell into a trance during which she prophesied passionately and at length against Oliver Cromwell and his government. The prophecies attracted widespread public attention, and resulted in an invitation to travel to Cornwall. Her Report and Plea, republished here for the first time, is a lively and engaging firsthand account of the visit, which concluded in her arrest, a court hearing, and imprisonment. Part memoir, part travelogue, and part impassioned defense of her beliefs and actions, the Report and Plea offers vivid and fascinating insight into the life and times of an early modern woman claiming her place at the center of the tumultuous political events of mid-seventeenth-century England.

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Antisatire
In Defense of Women, against Francesco Buoninsegni
Arcangela Tarabotti
Iter Press, 2020
Arcangela Tarabotti (1604–1652), Venetian nun and polemicist, was known for her protest against forced monachization and her advocacy for the education of women and their participation in public life. She responded to Francesco Buoninsegni’s Against the Vanities of Women (1638) with the Antisatire (1644), a defense of women’s fashions and a denunciation of men, but also a strong condemnation of men’s treatment of women and of the subordination of women in society. Both Buoninsegni and Tarabotti write with the exaggeration and absurd arguments typical of Menippean satire; they flaunt their knowledge of ancient and contemporary literature in a prose interspersed with poetry and replete with the astonishing Baroque conceits that delighted their contemporaries.

The Other Voice in Early Modern Women: The Toronto Series volume 70
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The Anxiety Workbook
Poems
Christina Olson
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2023
The Anxiety Workbook is a full-length manuscript that explores contemporary anxiety, grief in its multitude of forms, and complicated familial dynamics via the lens of science and history while utilizing the language of therapy. These poems grapple with the ever-evolving collective and individual trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as seek answers and lessons from the natural world. The termination of a pregnancy, a distant father, the untimely death of a friend, our society’s obsession with Dateline and missing white girls, the estivation of the West African lungfish—The Anxiety Workbook covers these topics and much more in poems ranging from the hyper-narrative to the highly lyrical, rich in voice and description. 
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Aphrodite's Daughters
Three Modernist Poets of the Harlem Renaissance
Honey, Maureen
Rutgers University Press, 2016
The Harlem Renaissance was a watershed moment for racial uplift, poetic innovation, sexual liberation, and female empowerment. Aphrodite’s Daughters introduces us to three amazing women who were at the forefront of all these developments, poetic iconoclasts who pioneered new and candidly erotic forms of female self-expression.  
 
Maureen Honey paints a vivid portrait of three African American women—Angelina Weld Grimké, Gwendolyn B. Bennett, and Mae V. Cowdery—who came from very different backgrounds but converged in late 1920s Harlem to leave a major mark on the literary landscape. She examines the varied ways these poets articulated female sexual desire, ranging from Grimké’s invocation of a Sapphic goddess figure to Cowdery’s frank depiction of bisexual erotics to Bennett’s risky exploration of the borders between sexual pleasure and pain. Yet Honey also considers how they were united in their commitment to the female body as a primary source of meaning, strength, and transcendence.
 
The product of extensive archival research, Aphrodite’s Daughters draws from Grimké, Bennett, and Cowdery’s published and unpublished poetry, along with rare periodicals and biographical materials, to immerse us in the lives of these remarkable women and the world in which they lived. It thus not only shows us how their artistic contributions and cultural interventions were vital to their own era, but also demonstrates how the poetic heart of their work keeps on beating.  
 
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Apocalypse, Darling
Barrie Jean Borich
The Ohio State University Press, 2018

From award-winning author Barrie Jean Borich comes Apocalypse, Darling, a narrative, lyric exploration of the clash between old and new. Set in the steel mill regions of Chicago and in Northwest Indiana, the story centers on Borich’s return to a decimated landscape for a misbegotten wedding in which her spouse’s father marries his high school sweetheart. The book is a lilting journey into an ill-fated moment, where families attempt to find communion in tense gathering spaces and across their most formative disappointments. Borich tells the story of the industrial heartland that produced the steel that made American cities, but also one of the most toxic environmental sites in the world.
 
 
As concise as a poem and as sweeping as an epic novel, Apocalypse, Darling explores the intersection of American traditional and self-invented social identities and the destruction and re-greening of industrial cityscapes. Borich asks: can toxic landscapes actually be remediated and can patriarchal fathers ever really be forgiven? In a political climate where Borich is forced to daily re-enter the toxic wastelands she thought she’d long left behind, Apocalypse, Darling is an urgent collision of broken spaces, dysfunctional affections, and the reach toward familial and environmental repair. 
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Apocalypse Mix
Jane Satterfield
Autumn House Press, 2017
Jane Satterfield’s fourth poetry collection, Apocalypse Mix, dives into a musical, war-torn, elegiac past.
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Architect
Alison Thumel
University of Arkansas Press, 2024
“When he died, my brother became the architect of the rest of my life,” writes Alison Thumel in Architect, which interweaves poems, lyric essays, and visual art to great emotional effect. In this debut collection, the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright become a blueprint for elegy, as Thumel overlays the language of architecture with the language of grief to raze and reconstruct memories, metaphors, and myths. With obsessive and exacting focus, the poet leads us through room after room in a search to answer whether it is possible to rebuild in the wake of loss. Meanwhile, the midwestern landscape beyond these rooms—the same landscape that infuses the low, horizontal forms of Wright’s Prairie Style buildings—shapes the figures in Architect as well as their fates: “For years after my brother’s death, I collected news articles on people who died young and tragically in landlocked states. Prairie Style deaths—boys sucked down into grain silos or swept up by tornadoes or fallen through a frozen pond. The boys I didn’t know, but the landscape I did. The dread of it. How many miles you can look ahead. For how long you see what is coming.”
 
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Archive of Style
New and Selected Poems
Cheryl Clarke
Northwestern University Press, 2024
A new retrospective of a titan of LGBTQ literature, activism, and Black feminism

Award-winning poet and essayist Cheryl Clarke’s illustrious career has spanned more than four decades and culminates in Archive of Style: New and Selected Poems, a long-awaited retrospective of the indelible work of a Black feminist, community and LGBTQ activist, and educator. This collection features carefully curated poems from Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women (1982), Living as a Lesbian (1986), The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry 1980-2005 (2006), By My Precise Haircut (2016), and Targets (2019). Together these works show a brilliant thinker who has profoundly impacted generations of writers and activists.

Clarke’s poetry and essays, centered around the Black, lesbian, feminist experience, have attracted an audience around the world. Her essays, “Lesbianism: an Act of Resistance” and “The Failure to Transform: Homophobia in the Black Community” revolutionized the thinking about lesbians of color and the struggle against homophobia. Her poetry and non-fiction have been reprinted in numerous anthologies and assigned in women and sexuality courses globally. Having published since 1977, Clarke and her work have become a foundational part of LGBTQ literature and activism. Archive of Style is a celebration and homage to one of American literature’s Black Women literary warriors.
 
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Archives of Labor
Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States
Lori Merish
Duke University Press, 2017
In Archives of Labor Lori Merish establishes working-class women as significant actors within literary culture, dramatically redrawing the map of nineteenth-century US literary and cultural history. Delving into previously unexplored archives of working-class women's literature—from autobiographies, pamphlet novels, and theatrical melodrama to seduction tales and labor periodicals—Merish recovers working-class women's vital presence as writers and readers in the antebellum era. Her reading of texts by a diverse collection of factory workers, seamstresses, domestic workers, and prostitutes boldly challenges the purportedly masculine character of class dissent during this era. Whether addressing portrayals of white New England "factory girls," fictional accounts of African American domestic workers, or the first-person narratives of Mexican women working in the missions of Mexican California, Merish unsettles the traditional association of whiteness with the working class to document forms of cross-racial class identification and solidarity. In so doing, she restores the tradition of working women's class protest and dissent, shows how race and gender are central to class identity, and traces the ways working women understood themselves and were understood as workers and class subjects.
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The Armillary Sphere
Poems
Ann Hudson
Ohio University Press, 2006

Taking the warp of dream, sometimes nightmare, and weaving it with the ordinary world, the poems of The Armillary Sphere, Ann Hudson’s award-winning debut collection, do not simplify the mystery but deepen it. Just as the interlocking rings of the armillary sphere of the title represent the great circles of the heavens, so do the poems herein demonstrate out of the beautiful, the extraordinary, and the cast off, a fresh scaffolding, a new way to see out from the center of our selves, a new measure of our relationship to the things of this world and the next.

Chosen from hundreds of manuscripts as this year’s winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, Ann Hudson’s The Armillary Sphere possesses, in the words of final judge Mary Kinzie,

“… a brightness of spirit and quickness of thought that are conveyed with extraordinary care as she frames moments of experience. Her style is unobtrusive—no fireworks of phrasing obscure the thing felt and seen. So simple a device as taking an intransitive verb transitively can shed strong light on the moment: “A fine sheen /of sweat glistens the cocktail glasses,”—and Hudson studies emotions with a brave restraint that resists cliché, while deftly joining together intuitions that bring contradictory or opposing charge.… Both circular and digressive, Hudson’s portrayal of beings of all ages poised on their varying thresholds brings a novelist’s sense of details unfolding into their future under the control of a fine poet’s pure and condensed language of likeness.”Insomnia

If you were awake too, I’d tell you
the whole story, how I dreamt
we never saw the child, how easily

we forgot. Instead I shuffle
to the porch to watch
traffic pass the house

and an occasional bat dive
under the streetlamps, ruthless
after its dark targets.

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Arms and the Woman
Classical Tradition and Women Writers in the Venetian Renaissance
Francesca D'Alessandro Behr
The Ohio State University Press, 2018

Arms and the Woman: Classical Tradition and Women Writers in the Venetian Renaissance by Francesca D’Alessandro Behr focuses on the classical reception in the works of female authors active in Venice during the Early Modern Age. Even in this relatively liberal city, women had restricted access to education and were subject to deep-seated cultural prejudices, but those who read and wrote were able, in part, to overcome those limitations.
 
In this study, Behr explores the work of Moderata Fonte and Lucrezia Marinella and demonstrates how they used knowledge of texts by Virgil, Ovid, and Aristotle to systematically reanalyze the biased patterns apparent both in the romance epic genre and contemporary society. Whereas these classical texts were normally used to bolster the belief in female inferiority and the status quo, Fonte and Marinella used them to envision societies structured according to new, egalitarian ethics. Reflecting on the humanist representation of virtue, Fonte and Marinella insisted on the importance of peace, mercy, and education for women. These authors took up the theme of the equality of genders and participated in the Renaissance querelle des femmes, promoting women’s capabilities and nature.
 
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Art for the Ladylike
An Autobiography through Other Lives
Whitney Otto
The Ohio State University Press, 2021
“In this inviting blend of biography and memoir, novelist Otto (How to Make an American Quilt) examines her life in terms of the women artists who influenced her.…Otto provides a fascinating tour of art through the lens of her own experience. Creatives of all sorts will enjoy [her] wide-ranging insights.” —Publishers Weekly

In Art for the Ladylike, Whitney Otto limns the lives of eight pioneering women photographers—Sally Mann, Imogen Cunningham, Judy Dater, Ruth Orkin, Tina Modotti, Lee Miller, Madame Yvonne, and Grete Stern—to in turn excavate her own writer’s life. The result is an affecting exploration of what it means to be a woman, what it means to be an artist, and the perils and rewards of being both at once. In considering how feminism, career, and motherhood were entangled throughout her subjects’ lives as they tirelessly sought to render their visions and paved the way for others creating within the bounds of domesticity, Otto assesses her own struggles with balancing writing and the pulls of home life. Ultimately, she ponders the persistent question that artistic women face in a world that devalues women’s ambition: If what we love is what we are, how do those of us with multiple loves forge lives with room for everything?
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The Art of Childbirth
A Seventeenth-Century Midwife’s Epistolary Treatise to Doctor Vallant: A Bilingual Edition
Marie Baudoin
Iter Press, 2022
The extraordinary story of a seventeenth-century French midwife and her treatise on childbirth.
 
In 1671, Marie Baudoin (1625–1700), head midwife and governor of the Hôtel-Dieu of Clermont-Ferrand, sent a treatise on the art of childbirth to her powerful Parisian patron, Dr. Vallant. The story of how Baudoin’s knowledge and expertise as a midwife came to be expressed, recorded, and archived raises the question: Was Baudoin exceptional because she was herself extraordinary, or because her voice has reached us through Vallant’s careful archival practices? Either way, Baudoin’s treatise invites us to reconsider the limits of what we thought we knew midwives “could be and do” in seventeenth-century France. Grounding Marie Baudoin’s text in a microanalysis of her life, work, and the Jansenist network between Paris and Clermont-Ferrand, this book connects historiographies of midwifery, Jansenism, hospital administration, public health, knowledge and record-keeping, and women’s work, underscoring both Baudoin’s capabilities and the archival accidents and intentions behind the preservation of her treatise in a letter.
 
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As Is
Poems
Julia Spicher Kasdorf
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2023
As Is gathers everyday poems written over time and mostly at the poet’s home in the Ridge and Valley province of northern Appalachia. This work pays attention to the world as it is with curiosity, candor, and delight. Seeking connection with others and the earth and savoring the fine details of a messy life, these poems reckon with the demands of family, pandemic, aging, and loss even as they witness injustice, violence, environmental degradation, and climate crisis.  
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Asterism
Ae Hee Lee
Tupelo Press, 2024
An intelligent and gorgeous collection of poems.

At times personal, at others political, slipping back and forth between lyric and narrative and drawing on various languages and geographies, Asterism is a collection of grace and grit, the work of a mind at work—in, and on, a world that is simultaneously expanding and contracting. Both accessible and legitimately experimental, these poems invite and challenge the reader, moving between registers and modes with ease.
 
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Asylum
Improvisations on John Clare
Lola Haskins
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019
Asylum presents the kind of journey John Clare might have taken in 1841 if, when he escaped the madhouse, he'd been traveling in his head rather than on his feet. Lola Haskins starts out with as little sense of direction as Clare had, and yet, after wandering all over the map, she too finally reaches her destination. The four sections in this book are where she rests for the night. The first looks tenderly at the cycle of human life. The second renders the world around her as if she were painting it. By the third, having lost her way, she turns to the supernatural and in the process is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. The book ends as she finds it again and arrives in her dear north-west England, having learned from John Clare that she “can be homeless at home and half-gratified to find I can be happy anywhere.”
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Asylum in the Grasslands
Diane Glancy
University of Arizona Press, 2007
Poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and author of more than thirty books, Diane Glancy has established herself as one of the country’s most versatile and prolific writers. Distinguished by her laconic honesty, her unflinching eye, and her skillful articulation of the commonplace, she presents Native American life—especially the ways it intersects with nonnative culture—in all its complexity and nuance.

In her new collection of poems, Glancy explores the history of loss that has marked the Cherokee community. In a voice that is as economical as it is eloquent and as sophisticated as it is exhilarating, she describes the loss of family, the loss of cultural heritage, and the loss of old worlds as new ones encroach. In one poem, a farm auction becomes an auction of culture, of heritage, of the past. In others, ancestors meet in a twenty-four-hour café, lunch is shared with a great-grandmother who has been traveling the universe, Christ appears as a cowboy in an apocalyptic vision, and Clytemnestra is discovered in a snakeskin. Some of the poems are as campy as a duck-decoy Custer in a shooting gallery. Some glitter with dime-store glue. Others speak with the reflection of sunlight off a stream. Sometimes the verse produces a shortstop language on the baseline of experience. In whatever form they take, Glancy’s poems stimulate and challenge the reader with their unfettered, unadorned, and unpretty purity. This collection is not only a spirited ride across the Great Plains, it is also an important addition to the literature of white–Native American cultural relationships.
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At Fault
Scholarly Edition W/Background Readings
Kate Chopin
University of Tennessee Press, 2001
Celebrated for her depictions of life among Louisiana’s Creole and Cajun peoples, Kate Chopin (1850–1904) is today seen as a major figure in southern literature. Her short stories and her last novel, The Awakening (1899), are widely read and studied. Unjustly neglected, however, is her first novel, At Fault, which Chopin published in 1890 at her own expense. This edition of At Fault—the first printing to appear since Chopin’s Complete Works was issued in 1969—now makes the book available to a wide audience.

The novel centers on Therese Lafirme, a widow who owns and runs a plantation in post–Civil War Louisiana. She encounters David Hosmer, who buys timber rights to her property to secure raw materials for his newly constructed sawmill. When David remarries, a love triangle develops between David, Fanny  (his alcoholic wife), and Therese, who tries to balance her strong moral sensibility against her growing love for David. In depicting these relationships, Chopin acutely dramatizes the conflict between growing industrialism and the agrarian traditions of the Old South—as well as the changes to the land and the society that inevitably resulted from that conflict.

Editors Suzanne Disheroon Green and David J. Caudle provide meticulous annotations to the text of At Fault, facilitating the reader’s understanding of the complex and exotic culture and language of nineteenth-century Louisiana. Also included is a substantial body of supporting materials thatcontextualize the novel, ranging from a summary of critical responses to materials illuminating the economic, social, historical, and religious influences on Chopin’s texts.

The Editors: Suzanne Disheroon Green is an assistant professor of English at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She is the co-author, with David J. Caudle, of Kate Chopin: An Annotated Bibliography of Critical Works, and co-editor with Lisa Abney, of the forthcoming Songs of the New South: Writing Contemporary Louisiana

David J. Caudle, who is completing his doctorate at the University of North Texas, has published essays and book chapters dealing with American literature and linguistic approaches to literature.
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Atmospheric Embroidery
Poems
Meena Alexander
Northwestern University Press, 2018

In this haunting collection of poems we travel through zones of violence to reach the crystalline depths of words: Meena Alexander writes, "So landscape becomes us, / Also an interior space bristling with light." At the heart of this book is the poem cycle "Indian Ocean Blues," a sustained meditation on the journey of the poet as a young child from India to Sudan. There are poems inspired by the drawings of children from war-torn Darfur and others set in present-day New York City. These sensual lyrics of body, memory, and place evoke the fragile, shifting nature of dwelling in our times.

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Auction
Poems
Quan Barry
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2023
Poems about the Freedom That Arises When We Finally Let Go 

In Auction, her first poetry collection in eight years, the poet, novelist, and playwright Quan Barry travels the globe in her signature quest into the existential nature of experience. These poems explore the inner landscapes of both the human and animal realms, revealing them to be points along the same spectrum. At the heart of the book lies an extended study of toxic storytelling as an element of warcraft, but Barry also contemplates the death of a Buddhist master, the plight of migrants both at home and abroad, the ethics of travel and consumption, and the larger question of how and why we construct a self in order to navigate the world.  
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Aunt Bird
Yerra Sugarman
Four Way Books, 2022

Aunt Bird is an astonishing, hybrid poetry of witness that observes and testifies to social, political, and historical realities through the recovery of one life silenced by the past. Within these pages, poet Yerra Sugarman confronts the Holocaust as it was experienced by a young Jewish woman: the author’s twenty-three-year-old aunt, Feiga Maler, whom Sugarman never knew, and who died in the Kraków Ghetto in German-occupied Poland in 1942. In lyric poems, prose poems, and lyric essays, Aunt Bird combines documentary poetics with surrealism: sourcing from the testimonials of her kin who survived, as well as official Nazi documents about Feiga Maler, these poems imagine Sugarman’s relationship with her deceased aunt and thus recreate her life. Braiding speculation, primary sources, and the cultural knowledge-base of postmemory, Aunt Bird seeks what Eavan Boland calls “a habitable grief,” elegizing the particular loss of one woman while honoring who Feiga was, or might have been, and recognizing the time we have now.

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Autobiography and Letters of a Spanish Nun
María Vela y Cueto
Iter Press, 2016

When María Vela y Cueto (1561–1617) declared that God had personally ordered her to take only the Eucharist as food and to restore primitive dress and public penance in her aristocratic convent, the entire religious community, according to her confessor, “rose up in wrath.” Yet, when Vela died, her peers joined with the populace to declare her a saint. In her autobiography and personal letters, Vela speaks candidly of the obstacles, perils, and rewards of re-negotiating piety in a convent where devotion to God was no longer expressed through rigorous asceticism. Vela’s experience, told in her own words, reveals her shrewd understanding of the persuasive power of a woman’s body.

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Autobiography of a Wound
Brynne Rebele-Henry
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018

Winner of the AWP 2017 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry

In ancient fertility carvings, artists would drill holes into the woman’s body to signify penetrability, which is the basis of Autobiography of a Wound: allowing those wounds and puncture marks to speak through the fertility figures. The wounds are chronicled through letters and poems addressed to F (F stands for the fertility carvings themselves, which are being addressed as one unified deity), and A (Aphrodite, who is being referenced as a general deity of womanhood, a figurine that reappears throughout the poems, and a symbol that is referenced or portrayed in almost every fertility figurine or carving). Autobiography of a Wound reconstructs the narrative surrounding female pathos and the idea of the hysteric girl.

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Ay Tú!
Critical Essays on the Life and Work of Sandra Cisneros
Sonia Saldívar-Hull and Geneva M. Gano
University of Texas Press, 2024

A comprehensive volume on the life and work of renowned Chicana author Sandra Cisneros.

Sandra Cisneros (b. 1954), author of the acclaimed novel The House on Mango Street and a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur “Genius Grant” and the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature, was the first Chicana to be published by a major publishing house. ¡Ay Tú! is the first book to offer a comprehensive, critical examination of her life and work as a whole. Edited by scholars Sonia Saldívar-Hull and Geneva M. Gano, this volume addresses themes that pervade Cisneros’s oeuvre, like romantic and erotic love, female friendship, sexual abuse and harassment, the exoticization of the racial and ethnic “other,” and the role of visual arts in the lives of everyday people. Essays draw extensively on the newly opened Cisneros Papers, housed in the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, and the volume concludes with a new long-form interview with Cisneros by the award-winning journalist Macarena Hernández.

As these essays reveal, Cisneros’s success in the literary field was integrally connected to the emergent Chicana feminist movement and the rapidly expanding Chicanx literary field of the late twentieth century. This collection shows that Cisneros didn’t achieve her groundbreaking successes in isolation and situates her as a vital Chicana feminist writer and artist.

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