Aphrodite's Daughters

Aphrodite's Daughters

Three Modernist Poets of the Harlem Renaissance

eBook - 2016
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"Aphrodite's Daughters brings to dramatic life three lyrical poets of the Harlem Renaissance whose work was among the earliest to display erotic passion as a source of empowerment for women. Angelina Weld Grimke, Gwendolyn B. Bennett, and Mae V. Cowdery are framed as bold pioneers whose verse opened new frontiers into women's sexuality at the dawn of a new century. Honey describes Grimke construction of a Sapphic deity inspiring acolytes to express forbidden same-sex desire while she outlines Bennett's exploration of sexual pleasure and pain and Cowdery's frank depiction of bisexual erotics. Grimke, Bennett, and Cowdery, she argues, embraced the lyric "I" as an expression of their modernity as artists, women, and participants in the New Negro Movement by highlighting the female body as a primary source of meaning, strength and transcendence. Honey juxtaposes each poet's creative work against her life writing, personal archive, and appearances in the black press. These new source materials dramatically illuminate verse that has largely appeared without its biographical context or modernist roots. Honey's highly nuanced bio-critical portraits of this unique cadre of New Negro poets reveal the fascinating complexity of their private lives, and she creates absorbing narratives for all three as they experienced sexual awakening in lesbian, heterosexual, and bisexual contexts. The vivid interplay between intimate, racial and artistic currents in their lives makes Aphrodite's Daughters a compelling story of three courageous women who dared to be sexually alive New Negro artists paving the way toward our own era."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press, 2016.
ISBN: 9780813570808
0813570808
9780813570792
9780813570785
0813570786
0813570794
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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