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Amy Lowell, Diva Poet [Hardcover]

Melissa Bradshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Dec 2011 1409410021 978-1409410027
In her reassessment of Amy Lowell as a major figure in the modern American poetry movement, Melissa Bradshaw uses theories of the diva and female celebrity to account for Lowell's extraordinary literary influence in the early twentieth century and her equally extraordinary disappearance from American letters after her death. Recognizing Amy Lowell as a literary diva, Bradshaw shows, accounts for her commitment to her art, her extravagant self-promotion and self-presentation, and her fame, which was of a kind no longer associated with poets. It also explains the devaluation of Lowell's poetry and criticism, since a woman's diva status is always short lived and the accomplishments of celebrity women are typically dismissed and trivialized. In restoring Lowell to her place within the American poetic renaissance of the nineteen-teens and twenties, Bradshaw also recovers a vibrant moment in popular culture when poetry enjoyed mainstream popularity, audiences packed poetry readings, and readers avidly followed the honors, exploits, and feuds of their favorite poets in the literary columns of daily newspapers. Drawing on a rich array of letters, memoirs, newspapers, and periodicals, but eschewing the biographical interpretations of her poetry that have often characterized criticism on Lowell, Bradshaw gives us an Amy Lowell who could not be further removed from the lonely victim of ill-health and obesity who appears in earlier book-length studies. Amy Lowell as diva poet takes her rightful place as a powerful writer of modernist verse who achieved her personal and professional goals without capitulating to heteronormative ideals of how a woman should act, think, or appear.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgate (1 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409410021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409410027
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,304,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Melissa Bradshaw teaches English at Loyola University Chicago, USA.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars A ground breaking book 8 Dec 2013
Melissa Bradshaw's careful examination of Amy Lowell as poet and public performer made a huge difference in the way I wrote my biography of Lowell. In effect, Bradshaw overturns decades of wrongheaded and mean spirited accounts of a wonderful writer whose life and work deserve the most careful consideration. Lowell made a huge contribution to poetry, not only in her own work but in her indefatigable efforts on behalf of other poets. And she increased and enriched the audience for poetry.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding presentation of an important poet 30 Nov 2013
By Carl Rollyson - Published on Amazon.com
This award winning book restores a major poet and literary figure to her rightful place in American literary history. I was fortunate to be able to read much of Melissa Bradshaw's work before completing my own biography of Amy Lowell. Bradshaw's fresh, penetrating study, based on excellent archival work, greatly influenced my own approach to the poet. Bradshaw's chapter on Duse and her influence on Lowell is powerful. So, too, is Bradshaw's understanding of Lowell as public performer. Written in a clear, elegant prose style, this book is for anyone interested in the fate of poetry in the modern world. Amy Lowell's example has much to teach all of us.
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