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Prologue: Coming to Light
Diane Wood Middlebrook     1

The Thieves of Language: Women Poets and Revisionist Mythmaking
Alicia Ostriker     10

The New Poetry and the New Woman: Mina Loy
Carolyn Burke     37

To Have the Winning Language: Texts and Contexts of Gertrude Stein
Ulla E. Dydo     58

H.D.: Hilda in Egypt
Albert Gelpi     74

"My Scourge, My Sister": Louise Bogan's Muse
Mary DeShazer     92

Trial Balances: Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore
David Kalstone     105

At Home with Loss: Elizabeth Bishop and the American Sublime
Joanne Feit Diehl     123

Poetry and Political Experience: Denise Levertov
John Felstiner     138

In Yeats's House: The Death and Resurrection of Sylvia Plath
Sandra M. Gilbert     145

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, and Related Poems
Marilyn Yalom     167


Sylvia Plath's Baby Book
Barbara Antonina Clarke Mossberg     182

"I Tapped My Own Head": The Apprenticeship of Anne Sexton
Diane Wood Middlebrook     195  

Lucille Clifton: A Changing Voice for Changing Times
Andrea Benton Rushing     214

Answering the Deer: Genocide and Continuance in American Indian Women's Poetry
Paula Gunn Allen     223

"I Go where I Love": An Intertextual Study of H.D. and Adrienne Rich
Susan Stanford Friedman     233

Epilogue: Philomela's Loom
Patricia Klindienst Joplin     254

Contributors     269


This collection of 16 essays discusses the broad relationship of women poets to the American literary tradition

“An extremely important book, both in illuminating feminist poetics and in providing a historical overview of women poets in the 20th century – from Mina Loy’s revolutionary erotic free verse to Anne Sexton’s ironic restructuring of myth in her Transformations… A feast of information and insight.”