Cover image for Amy Lowell, American modern
Amy Lowell, American modern
Munich, Adrienne.
Publication Information:
New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxix, 208 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3523.O88 Z54 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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For decades, the work of one of America's most influential poets, 1925 Pulitzer Prize-winner Amy Lowell (1874-1925), has been largely overlooked. This vigorous, courageous poet gave voice to an erotic, thoroughly American sensibility. Cigar-smoker, Boston Brahmin, lesbian, impresario, entrepreneur, and prolific poet, Lowell heralded the rush of an American poetic flowering. A best-selling poet as well as a wildly popular lecturer (autograph-seeking fans were sometimes so boisterous that she required a police escort), she was a respected authority on modern poetry, forging the path that led to the works of Allen Ginsberg, May Sarton, Sylvia Plath, and beyond. Yet, since her death, her work has suffered critical neglect.

This volume presents an essential revaluation of Lowell, and builds a solid critical basis for evaluating her poetry, criticism, politics, and influence. Essays explore the varied contributions of Lowell as a woman poet, a modernist, and a significant force of the literary debates of early twentieth-century poetics. In addition to placing Lowell in her proper historical context, contributors demonstrate her centrality to current critical and theoretical discussions: feminist, gay and lesbian, and postcolonial, in as well as in disability, American, and cultural studies. The book includes a transatlantic group of literary critics and scholars.

Amy Lowell, American Modern offers the most sustained examination of Lowell to date. It returns her to conversation and to literary history where she belongs.

Author Notes

Adrienne Munich is a professor of English at SUNY-Stony Brook

Reviews 1

Choice Review

From 1912 until 1925, the year of her death, Lowell was a prolific writer of imagist poems, love lyrics, dramatic monologues, lengthy narratives, "Yankee dialect" poems, and "polyphonic prose." She established herself as an important literary critic, especially in Tendencies in Modern American Poetry (1917). She edited three influential imagist anthologies, became a popular lecturer and reader, and tirelessly promoted the so-called new poetry. Yet Lowell's life and writings have attracted scant critical attention, certainly little that is positive. Why the negativism? Why the relative neglect? Her wealth and privileged lifestyle? Her obesity? Her lesbianism? Her willingness to challenge male hegemony? Munich and Bradshaw's anthology, a collection of 13 essays preceded by an introduction and a chronology, offers answers to questions such as these and, at the same time, presents the most thoroughgoing analysis to date of Lowell's poetic, critical, and editorial contributions to early modernist aesthetics. Moreover, the essays discuss Lowell's personal and literary friendships; her love of John Keats; her interest in Asian art; her correspondence with H.D., Harriet Monroe, and D.H. Lawrence; and her New England heritage. Among the volume's contributors are luminaries like Margaret Homans, Jane Marcus, Bonnie Kime Scott, and Paul Lauter. This is a ground-breaking addition to Lowell scholarship. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All collections. D. D. Kummings University of Wisconsin--Parkside