Innovative Women Poets: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Interviews

University of Iowa Press 2007 co-edited with Elisabeth Frost


In this unusual and insightful collection, fourteen full-length literary interviews with innovative female poets of the last forty years, enhanced with a selection of their poems and prefaced by short introductions, present a wide and accessible range of forms, schools, politics, and conversations. By giving us each poet’s own voice in a medium other than poetry, the interviews provide important cultural and historical contexts that help define notions of innovation and contribute to a fuller understanding of these experimental poems.

Poets and literary scholars Elisabeth Frost and Cynthia Hogue selected writers with particular attention to diversity in terms of ethnicity, philosophical concerns, and aesthetic movements, including the New York School, the Black Arts Movement, and language writing. By bringing together poets not usually considered in the same critical context, the editors clarify the ways in which these innovative women have affected ideas of poetry and poetic practice.

The engaging interviews (whose questions are often as interesting and informed as the responses), introductory texts, and selected poems allow readers to forge productive connections among the most important voices of late twentieth-century American poetry.


“Readers interested in women’s writing, innovative writing, and American poetry in general will find this collection useful and informative—perhaps indispensable. The poets gathered here are among the most important voices in late twentieth-century poetry in the U.S., and the anthology offers an excellent introduction to their work. But even readers already familiar with these poets will find new insights, new connections, new ways of thinking about their challenging and diverse poetics. Innovative Women Poets is likely to become a staple in personal and academic libraries as well as university course syllabi.”

Megan Simpson, author, Poetic Epistemologies: Gender and Knowing in Women’s Language-Oriented Writing

“This critical anthology of poetry by and interviews with contemporary women poets represents an important step in charting a history of women’s poetry in America. Particularly in bringing together a collection of interviews with women poets who have made distinct, but often unrecognized, contributions to contemporary innovative poetry, this collection promises to fill a number of gaps.”

Linda A. Kinnahan, author, Lyric Interventions: Feminism, Experimental Poetry, and Contemporary Discourse

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