Poetics of the Feminine

Authority and Literary Tradition in William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, Denise Levertov, and Kathleen Fraser

This book examines the early work of William Carlos Williams in relationship to a women's tradition of American poetry, as represented by Mina Loy, Denise Levertov and Kathleen Fraser--three generations of women poets working in or directly from a modernist tradition. Linda Kinnahan traces notions of the feminine and the maternal that develop as Williams seeks to create a modern poetics. Positioning Williamas in relationship to these three generations of Anglo-American women, the book pursues two questions: what can women poets, writing with an informed awareness of Williams, teach us about his modernist poetics of contact, and just as importantly, what can they teach us about the process, for women, of constructing a self within a male-dominated tradition?

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