We Who Love to Be Astonished collects a powerful group of previously unpublished essays to fill a gap in the critical evaluation of women's contributions to postmodern experimental writing. Contributors include Alan Golding, Aldon Nielsen, and Rachel Blau DuPlessis; discussions include analyses of the work of Kathleen Fraser, Harryette Mullen, and Kathy Acker, among others. The editors take as their title a line from the work of Lyn Hejinina, one of the most respected of innovative women poets writing today. The volume is organized into four sections: the first two seek to identify, from two different angles, the ways women of different sociocultural backgrounds are exploring their relationships to their cultures' inherited traditions; the third section investigates the issue of visuality and the problems and challenges it creates; and the fourth section expands on the role of the body as material and performance. The collection will breach a once irreconcilable divide between those who theorize about women's writing and those who focus on formalist practice. By embracing ""astonishment"" as the site of formalist-feminist investigation, the editors seek to show how form configures feminist thought, and, likewise, how feminist thought informs words and letters on a page. Students and scholars of avant-garde poetry, women's writing, and late-20th-century American literature will welcome this lively discussion.
Laura Hinton is Assistant Professor of English at the City College of New York and author of The Perverse Route of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from ""Clarissa"" to ""Rescue 911."" Cynthia Hogue is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University and author of Scheming Women: Poetry, Privilege, and the Politics of Subjectivity.