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Lorine Niedecker: A Poet's Life Hardcover – 15 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 334 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press (15 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299285006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299285005
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,651,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Peters writes as a feminist as well as a resident of Niedecker's home state, Wisconsin; she knows the lake country of Blackhawk Island at first hand. Her chapters on Niedecker's early life are thus especially valuable...[H]er narrative largely makes its case, showing us how this poet's 'condensery' was the product of a clear-sighted, good-humoured, and remarkably unsentimental sense of the poet's own deprivation."--Marjorie Perloff, "Times Literary Supplement"

About the Author

Margot Peters is an accomplished and award-winning biographer whose many books include "Unquiet Soul: A Biography of Charlotte Bronte"; "The House of Barrymore"; "Design for Living: Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne"; "May Sarton: A Biography"; and "Bernard Shaw and the Actresses." She lives in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
New Look at a Remarkable Writer 13 Mar. 2013
By texcritic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Even before her death in 1970, Lorine Niedecker was characterized as the 20th century's Emily Dickinson. The comparison has merit: like Dickinson, Niedecker was reclusive and wrote a sparse, intellectually active poetry that relied on deft phrasing and idiosyncratic turns of thought and language. In this biography, Margot Peters fills in the context for Niedecker's poetry by tracing her life from its origins in marshy, watery Blackhawk Island, Wisconsin, to her peculiar, dysfunctional upbringing (her father, whom she adored, was openly unfaithful with a female neighbor). We see Niedecker going away to college only to drop out because of lack of funds. Peters covers Niedecker's ill-fated, short-lived first marriage, and her complex, lifelong relationship with Objectivist poet Louis Zukofsky. Though never as famous at the time as some of her male poetic counterparts, Niedecker found literary patronage from people like publishers Cid Corman and James Laughlin, and lived out a life outwardly devoid of much of the typical drama of many literary lives, while maintaining her devotion to her art. Niedecker's latter years - a last successful marriage; various fruitful trips that yielded poetic material; quiet solitude at home in the region of her childhood; the cloak of ordinariness (dinner in front of TV with her devoted but alcoholic husband); a wave of final recognition - get a vigorous treatment here. Niedecker's life comes across as simultaneously sad, cheerful, ordinary, extraordinary, quiet and studious. In recent years, Niedecker has gone from being a (wrongly) neglected literary footnote to her current rising status as one of the previous century's most innovative and interesting poets. There may be more biographies of her life to come, and there will certainly be many more literary studies of the poetry ahead. But Peters' biography serves an important and fascinating look at this gifted writer, and an excellent starting point in any scholarly study of Niedecker's life and career.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Neglected Poet 15 Sept. 2012
By Philip Thorp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This biography of Lorine Niedecker is an interesting account of a poet virtually unknown in her lifetime. Margot Peters has done a very good job in presenting us with a fascinating life. She writes with economy and sympathy and keeps the pages turning. The research material is examined in the light of the poems and presents Lorine as a warm and vibrant character who had to deal with very difficult circumstances.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lorine Neidecker: A Poet's Life 1 May 2012
By bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an extremely well researched and written biography of a poet, Lorine Niedecker, who I knew little about. It really made me appreciate her as a poet and a survivor. I only wish she could have known this kind of appreciation during her amazingly difficult life! I will have to get some more of her poetry to read!
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