Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions

Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions

4.57 (76 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this whip-smart study, Maggie Nelson provides the first extended consideration of the roles played by women in and around the New York School of poets, from the 1950s to the present, and offers unprecedented analyses of the work of Barbara Guest, Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, Eileen Myles, and abstract painter Joan Mitchell as well as a reconsideration of the work of many male New York School writers and artists from a feminist perspective. With contagious enthusiasm, "Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions" ranges widely and covers collaborations between poets and painters in the 1950s and 1960s; the complex role played by the "true abstraction" of the feminine in the work of John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and James Schuyler; the intricate weave of verbal and visual arts throughout the postwar period, from Abstract Expressionism to Pop to Conceptualism to feminist and queer performance art; and the unfolding, diverse careers of Mayer, Notley, and Myles from the 1970s to the present.Along the way, Nelson considers provocative questions of anonymity and publicity, the solitary and the communal, the enduring and the ephemeral, domesticity, boredom, sex, and politics. By asking us to rethink the ways in which we conceptualize "schools" and "avant-gardes" and eventually drawing our attention to larger, compelling questions about how and why we read - and how gender and sexuality inform that reading in the first place - Maggie Nelson not only fills an important gap in the history of American poetry and art but also gives an inspired performance of the kind of lively, audacious, and personally committed criticism that befits her subject.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 310 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • University of Iowa Press
  • Iowa, United States
  • English
  • Us.
  • 9 photos
  • 1587296152
  • 9781587296154

Review quote

"After decades of listening (enthralled, of course) to the knitted ribbon-dress observations of John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and James Schuyler, finally, the other serious ladies of the necessarily 'so called' New York School--Joan Mitchell, Barbara Guest, Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, and Eileen Myles--are invited to give their full throated response. Smart as a whip and fun as an after hours bar, Maggie Nelson gets fresh with heretofore queerly ignored matters poetic, aesthetic, and feminist. Rearranging the school's classroom seating, illuminating details, all the while demonstrating how crucial not caring is to care, Nelson remaps the 'one flow' of poetry. Let me blunt: reading her bravura study's like spying on Joan Jett taking Helen Vendler for a joyride."--Bruce Hainleyshow more

About Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson is a poet and essayist on the faculty of the school of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. She has published two books of poetry - Shiner and The Latest Winter - and a mixed-genre work about the 1969 murder of her aunt entitled Jane: A Murder. A third collection of poems, Something Bright, Then Holes, is forthcoming.show more

Rating details

76 ratings
4.57 out of 5 stars
5 70% (53)
4 18% (14)
3 12% (9)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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