University of Michigan Poets on Poetry Series, 1983
In this volume of essays, poet Alicia Ostriker explores the work of five brilliant and courageous
20th century American women poets, tracking the risks they take and the growth they experience, and describing what is unique in the art of each. The book closes with two personal essays discussing "motherhood and poetry" and the use of myth in her own poems. 


The Poets on Poetry Series of the University of Michigan Press collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.
Ostriker builds a case--not just by exhortation and rhetorical encouragement, but by example--for how the work of women, writing out of life experiences, can truly change lives and the world.

--Madeline Tiger Bass, New Directions for Women

"This book is for those readers who still have no idea why anyone would want to write like a woman, as well as those who know very well why. My wish is to illustrate in these essays a crucial transition, happening in our time, between literary fear and literary courage." This theme echoes and re-echoes throughout the book. Ostriker writes about such women as H.D., Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, May Swenson and Adrienne Rich, all of whom were caught, somehow, in that tension between fear and courage. She makes a strong case for it.... Throughout this book are essys that excite a reader. The writing is vivid and filled with an eclecticism that perhaps is ample demonstration in itself of Ostriker's thesis. If this is her example of what women's writing is to be like, the reaction can only be: Let us have more of it.

--Bruce Woodford, Santa Fe Chronicle

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