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Lorine Niedecker

Lorine Niedecker: Collected Works

Lorine Niedecker
Edited by Jenny Penberthy
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Pages: 494
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  • Book Info
    Lorine Niedecker
    Book Description:

    "The Brontës had their moors, I have my marshes," Lorine Niedecker wrote of flood-prone Black Hawk Island in Wisconsin, where she lived most of her life. Her life by water, as she called it, could not have been further removed from the avant-garde poetry scene where she also made a home. Niedecker is one of the most important poets of her generation and an essential member of the Objectivist circle. Her work attracted high praise from her peers--Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukofsky, Cid Corman, Clayton Eshleman--with whom she exchanged life-sustaining letters. Niedecker was also a major woman poet who interrogated issues of gender, domesticity, work, marriage, and sexual politics long before the modern feminist movement. Her marginal status, both geographically and as a woman, translates into a major poetry. Niedecker's lyric voice is one of the most subtle and sensuous of the twentieth century. Her ear is constantly alive to sounds of nature, oddities of vernacular speech, textures of vowels and consonants. Often compared to Emily Dickinson, Niedecker writes a poetry of wit and emotion, cosmopolitan experimentation and down-home American speech. This much-anticipated volume presents all of Niedecker's surviving poetry, plays, and creative prose in the sequence of their composition. It includes many poems previously unpublished in book form plus all of Niedecker's surviving 1930s surrealist work and her 1936-46 folk poetry, bringing to light the formative experimental phases of her early career. With an introduction that offers an account of the poet's life and notes that provide detailed textual information, this book will be the definitive reader's and scholar's edition of Niedecker's work.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93542-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xx)
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
    J. P.
    (pp. 1-12)

    “The Brontes had their moors, I have my marshes,” Lorine Niedecker wrote of watery, flood-prone Black Hawk Island near the town of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, where she lived most of her life.¹ Although few people endured for long the seasonal hardships of life on Black Hawk Island, Niedecker’s attachments to the place ran deep. Her life by water could not have been further removed from the avant-garde poetry scene where she also made herself a home.

    Lorine was an only child born on May 12, 1903, to Theresa (Daisy) Kunz and Henry Niedecker. The Kunz family owned much of the...

    (pp. 13-18)

    In the last two years of Niedecker’s life, two books of her collected poems were published—T&G: The Collected Poems (1936–1966),prepared in 1965 and published in 1969, andMy Life by Water: Collected Poems, 1936–1968,an expanded edition prepared in 1968 and published in 1970. Jonathan Williams’s timely offer to publish her collected poems reached Niedecker in 1965, when she was sixty-two years old. Since her first magazine publication in 1928, she had seen two books to press:New Goosein 1946 andMy Friend Treein 1961. Given this spare publication record, the collected poems she...

  6. Poems

  7. Prose and Radio Plays

  8. NOTES
    (pp. 365-458)
    (pp. 459-466)
    (pp. 467-471)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 472-472)