Lola Ridge: Collected Early Poems

Lola Ridge

Little Island Press  

It is characteristic of literary history to be forgetful of writers who fall outside of its expected patterns. Lola Ridge – poet, anarchist and passionate feminist – should by rights be a name to set next to, though in contrast to, her modernist contemporaries, Gertrude Stein and Marianne Moore. She should be recognized as a forerunner of Muriel Rukeyser and Denise Levertov, a strong figure anticipating Andrienne Rich. Yet owing to the waywardness of political and literary fashion, after her death in 1941, Ridge's five books of verse, prized and praised in their time, lie buried in that unsettled no woman's land of the middle twentieth century. Now Daniel Tobin has come to the rescue by editing this enlightened edition of Lola Ridge's affecting, wonderfully accessible New York poems with a view to making her work available to readers like myself who had hardly heard of her before. Tobin's compassionate introduction to her life-struggle as a woman determined to write in accord with her beliefs and his wise inclusion of her fierce, still-relevant lecture of 1919, Woman and the Creative Will, should win her a large audience of sympathizers.  It is high time Lola Ridge was recognized by thousands of women who are triumphantly following in her footsteps today, most of them without even knowing of this interesting, in some ways tragic precursor to whose life and work we all should feel gratefully indebted.

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Subjects: Literature, Poetry

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It is characteristic of literary history to be forgetful of writers who fall outside of its expected patterns. Lola Ridge – poet, anarchist and passionate feminist – should by rights be a name to set next to, though in contrast to, her modernist contemporaries, Gertrude Stein and Marianne Moore. She should be recognized as a forerunner of Muriel Rukeyser and Denise Levertov, a strong figure anticipating Andrienne Rich. Yet owing to the waywardness of political and literary fashion, after her death in 1941, Ridge's five books of verse, prized and praised in their time, lie buried in that unsettled no woman's land of the middle twentieth century. Now Daniel Tobin has come to the rescue by editing this enlightened edition of Lola Ridge's affecting, wonderfully accessible New York poems with a view to making her work available to readers like myself who had hardly heard of her before. Tobin's compassionate introduction to her life-struggle as a woman determined to write in accord with her beliefs and his wise inclusion of her fierce, still-relevant lecture of 1919, Woman and the Creative Will, should win her a large audience of sympathizers.  It is high time Lola Ridge was recognized by thousands of women who are triumphantly following in her footsteps today, most of them without even knowing of this interesting, in some ways tragic precursor to whose life and work we all should feel gratefully indebted.

  • Author: Lola Ridge
  • Editor: Daniel Tobin
  • Publisher: Little Island Press
  • ISBN: 978-0-9935056-4-5

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