Out of Everywhere: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK

Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK, Ed. by Emily Critchley, Reality Street, 2015.

Download the contents & introduction here (pdf)

In 1996, Reality Street published Out of Everywhere, the first anthology of its kind of innovative poetry by women in North America and the British Isles. Here, 20 years later, is the long-awaited follow-up, including the following 44 poets: Sascha Akhtar, Amy De'Ath, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Andrea Brady, Lee Ann Brown, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Mairéad Byrne, Jennifer Cooke, Corina Copp, Emily Critchley, Jean Day, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Carrie Etter, Kai Fierle-Hedrick, Heather Fuller, Susana Gardner, Susan Gevirtz, Elizabeth James/Frances Presley, Lisa Jarnot, Christine Kennedy, Myung Mi Kim, Frances Kruk, Francesca Lisette, Sophie Mayer, Carol Mirakove, Marianne Morris, Erín Moure, Jennifer Moxley, Redell Olsen, Holly Pester, Vanessa Place, Sophie Robinson, Lisa Samuels, Kaia Sand, Susan M Schultz, Eleni Sikelianos, Zoë Skoulding, Juliana Spahr, Elizabeth Treadwell, Catherine Wagner, Carol Watts, Sara Wintz, Lissa Wolsak. A limited-edition CD of audio work by nine of these poets accompanies this anthology, and is available for sale separately, exclusively from the Reality Street website while stocks last.

Twenty years ago, Reality Street published one of the most influential poetry anthologies of our time. Out of Everywhere showcased linguistically innovative poetry by women in the UK and North America, definitively blowing apart the myth that experimental poetry is the preserve of shouty men in pubs. The range and quality of poetry in the book was extraordinary, and it’s as fresh today as it was in 1996 (to-date my copy has been to six countries across three continents, read on land, sea and air, and still retains the ability to surprise and startle). It has also influenced a generation of poets to push the boundaries of form and to believe in an audience for daring work. In short, it’s a hard act to follow.
Fast-forward to 2015 and “linguistically innovative poetry by women” is a de facto synonym for “some of the best poetry being written today by anyone, anywhere”. Poets like Andrea Brady and Emily Critchley use language like a wild magic to expose modernity in all its ambiguity, political horror, energy and confusion — and alongside which most of the annual haul of new poetry looks like bad amateur watercolour. Against this backdrop, and to mark the twentieth anniversary of the original anthology, Reality Street have asked Critchley to edit a sequel.
Let’s get this out of the way early: Out of Everywhere 2 doesn’t just live up to the legacy of its predecessor; it inhabits it, reimagines it and plays it back in multidimensional technicolour through the medium of dance while doing quadratic equations on a cocktail napkin. There’s so much wonderful poetry in this book that I’ve had to ration myself to avoid burnout. Yes, that’s hyperbole — but get hold of a copy and you’ll see what I mean.
[Seriously, get hold of a copy. Stop reading this review, go the Reality Street website and buy this book for less than the price of a round of drinks in central London.]
There are 43 poets represented in just under 350 pages of poems, with a wonderful range and diversity of voices. Reading from Susana Gardner to Jennifer Moxley to Holly Pester exposes the ridiculousness of dividing contemporary poetry into “experimental” and “mainstream”, as if the former were as uniform as the latter: this book contains multitudes.
Out of Everywhere 2 comes out well from the two challenges regularly hurled at anthologies: the choice of poets and the choice of poems. It’s unhelpfully-easy to take issue with an editor’s inclusions & exclusions (having spent the past two months being wowed by In the Square I was sorry not to see Laura Kilbride on the list — but everyone will have their own pet omissions and, frankly, so what?). Editors have to make choices, and in this case the selection of poets is truly first-rate: by definition every anthology will have regretful omissions; the real test (which many fail) is regretful inclusions, and this book has none.
Likewise the selection of extracts is brave and pays off. Experimental poetry — tending towards longer works and sequences more than the mainstream lyric — is notoriously difficult to anthologise well. Here e.g. Andrea Brady is represented by extracts from Wildfire (possibly the most significant English-language poetry book of the decade) and Mutability, rather than the more obviously anthology-friendly short poems of Cut from the Rushes. It works. Many of the titles in the book are preceded by an italicised from, but the extracts are so well-chosen that the wrenching from their original context never becomes obtrusive.
Although I found myself jumping first to the writers I already know and admire (Amy De’Ath, Critchley herself, Carrie Etter — whose own, excellent Infinite Difference is also an invaluable survey of experimental poetry by women — and many others), the real joy came from discovering writers and work for the first time. Jennifer Cooke’s “Steel Girdered Her Musical” blew me away; Marianne Morris’s “Solace Poem (after Parvin E’tesami)” is genuinely unsettling; Myung Mi Kim’s “Lamenta” comes close to being a secular magic spell. And that’s just the beginning: I already know that Out of Everywhere 2 is going to be a regular travelling companion; that, like its predecessor, it will continue to surprise and startle even when I’ve been reading it for years.
If you care about contemporary poetry; if you want to encounter work that challenges and dazzles and transmits its energy direct to the nervous system rather than by tedious exposition via the brain; if you love language; if you write poetry and have any ambition to write it better; if you’ve never written a line but love to read it; if you haven’t read a poetry book since school; if you want to engage with the world rather than just passing through it — please, buy this book.  - Gareth Prior

Consider Peter Pan, the pouting boy king, a symbol of endless playfulness, laughter and petulance. Now turn your attention to Paul Auster and his assertion that we need ‘cackling boys to remind us of how great it is to be alive’, and that without these boy writers ‘there is no literature.’ There is space to experiment inside the outline of eternal boychild, but the writing never grows, it never connects. Peter Pan spurns the independence of Wendy when she is no longer compelled to be the plaything of a latently aggressive sexuality. This is precisely what Kia Alice Groom of Quaint Magazine means when she says ‘[b]oy writers tell us that the only way to pay respect to another writer (who is not a cis-man) is to use their body as an intellectual blow-up doll.’ Peter adored Wendy when she was complicit in his fantasy, but became furious when she rejected it. The poets of Out of Everywhere 2 reject Neverland, the definitive nowhere hailed as paradise by so many male writers, and oppose the Nomad Child King. This is not to suggest that there is no playfulness, ego or desire in the writing, but, rather, an active inclusiveness that stems from editor Emily Critchley’s despair over the fact that ‘there is too much talent to be represented exhaustively here. I regret all omissions.’ This apology suggests that the book begins before the first page, and continues after the last – the eternity is not one of ego, but of community and connectivity, it is not about exclusion, not an elite club of lost boys who shoot down floating girls from the sky because they neither care nor know any better. Critchley, I believe, is opposing this concept directly, and with a sense of urgency too.
‘But,’ I hear some of you ask, is there still a need for an all-female anthology of avant-garde poetry today?’ Critchley’s answer to herself and her readers is a resounding yes. Though the world of UK mainstream poetry is populated by prominent female writers and spearheaded by a woman laureate, the hydra of misogyny continues to re-assert itself, now often in the space where female, non-binary, PoC and queer writers seek a more experimental space for their marginalised voices. Of course, the head-sprouting is less volatile, as is the deceptive appearance of today’s modern feminist backlash; at the same time, male dominance in the poetry community, particularly in the Alt Lit sphere, is still mutating in its disturbingly specialist way, and it is still monstrous. What has become generally known as ‘alternative literature’ has been sharply criticised in the last year for being a ‘[white] boy’s club’, an alternative that we are now seeking an alternative to.
What makes Out of Everywhere 2 a revolutionary text is the notion that these shared experiences do not have to be ‘real,' or distinctively focused upon poetic ‘womanhood’; there is a frequently occurring expectation, I believe, when ‘Women’s Poetry’ is lumped into collections, for some kind of outspoken, straightforward tackling of injustice, or else an earthiness surrounding the corporeal plight of the ‘female’ body. There is nothing necessarily wrong with these approaches. What is wrong is that there should be assigned subject matter for women poets; readers want to feel what it is to be a woman. They want it in simple terms, and they want the gratification instantly, laid out in comfortable formulas that perpetuate the idea that Woman is Code, or, perhaps equally as reductive, a maddeningly uncrackable one. To be a woman poet does not necessarily mean you have to write about being a woman at all. Neither are perceptions of feminist liberation, or the state of being a woman, uniformly shared. The poets featured in Out of Everywhere 2 play with artifice, spite, theatricality, meticulous science, kitsch, unflinching boldness, delicate beauty: ‘everywhere,' for them, is about autonomy at the source of uncategorised freedom.
Amy De’ath, in the extract chosen from Lower Parallel, explores, through her profound experimentation with prosody, how our instinctive knee-jerk reactions to life, and the manner in which we record these moments, are becoming meshed with mechanics. This exposes the mechanics of gendered language itself:
downloading, the Simpsons, South Park, Donald and Daisy Duck, Family Guy, Felix the Cat, Christopher Wren, Power Outage,
Moral Outrage, Disillusionment, how pathos lies at the root of all this as the dead roll to the foot of the bed, say “womb” is a verb, “aborted” is a feeling.

The placement of the coldly worded ‘womb is a verb, aborted is a feeling’ beneath the extensive list of blue-lit streaming titles and abstract emotion means that it reaches us only after a haze that feels like passive viewing, a linguistic tuning out: the rigid categorisation of such widely attacked lived female experience feels chillingly blasé as it is strung through the rolling, slack-mouthed rhythm of the list. This is complicated by the insinuation that these words are spoken by the dead, perhaps even the stillborn: ‘as the dead roll to the foot of the bed.’ Are we witnessing a playback, a crackling screen of societal projection upon women to bind their bodies to specific language, to accept it without question?
When acceptance of an artificial language construct becomes passive, there is darkness to be found in de-shelling the cybernetics of that state, of hanging in a void where the rootless enjoyment of music merges with the meaningless assignment of identity. Often we do not acknowledge the way we respond to music, we just ‘do,’ despite the fact that there are certainly complex psychological theories behind our preferences, and the ways in which we respond to rhythm and melody. Is our absorption of language, a chillingly pre-meditated structure of power, becoming shrugged off as something so deeply internalised we no longer need to bring it into conscious discussion? We accept pleasing sound in a positive way, but we should not accept the sound of words with an uncritical ear; De’aths frankness hits the windscreen in precisely selected moments to prevent us from cruising, and it is expertly accomplished.
Francesca Lisette reprises this idea of female fertility and its binding to words in her poem ‘LANGUAGE LANGUAGE LANGUAGE LANGUAGE’:
Embryo spoiled
in a dark bleat of snow.
What lives in a wrinkled condom

These stand-alone lines encapsulate the rejection of the ‘bounteous’ woman so often rounded out of the same recycled lyric material, firstly by dismissing fertility as the vehicle for voice and, secondly, reclaiming the merged substance in a condom as a genderless creative origin, external to the body, and a portal to an independent queering of language that was, and is, forbidden to women to use without scrutiny. It been so easy for men throughout history to inhabit female roles (Browning’s ‘The Laboratory’, Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott,’ and Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’ being classic examples) and for the reader to accept these voices as women without bringing the author’s identity into question: the male speaker spins a woman and returns resolutely to being a man. It is not ‘deviation,’ ‘experimentation’ or ‘dress-up,’ it is simply ‘creating a different and vivid perspective with artistic merit.’ It is important however to remember that the politics of writing as a woman, with its persisting barriers of expectation and stereotype, must be acknowledged and scrutinised, perhaps for the time being, in order to shatter preconceived notions. Conscious performativity, as I will soon explore, is a way of actively mocking and tackling the issue of gendered voice at its root. Lisette both acknowledges the construction of gendered language and dismisses it by harkening back to the birth image, transforming it instead into an origin for a poetry untainted by gendered preconception; it offers a notion of ‘beginning’ rather than bolstering the assumption that women writers can simply make the same seamless unburdened transitions as male writers. The asexually reproducing nature of the title, also, suggests a freedom and possibility of form which stems from this concept of rejecting the womb-cage as an assumed base for all women poets, again demonstrating the anthology’s celebration of uncategorised freedom.
Mechanics of language and gender are performative in the Butler-sense (‘gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original’), and there is also a kitschy theatrical response to this undressing of societal norms, an echo of the Gurlesque zeitgeist that amplifies the literal theatricality of construction in a grotesquely camp fashion. Jennifer Cooke is a queen of this DRAG poetry, situating her ‘Kittenista’ (‘proud, tall, womb removed’) in South Mimms Service Station, where she imagines a transient revolution (for what cause exactly, we remain unsure) among the grease, faux-fur, coffee rings and RAC men of a night by the motorway in Hertfordshire:
“the people have
spoken. i am the will of them whose needs
I speak from my feathered lips, the sacred man
date in my guts”
[her pelvic floor drops, cracks
the carpark in two; eating tenners for coke-seams
we look up as one]
“This night will matter.”

‘Date in my guts’ suggests a digestion and excretion of man, a rather graphic reversal of the rib birth in Eden, one of many roles that is paper-mâchéd and paraded in this piece. The experience of a service station at night -- a transient environment, a world that so often feels taken out of time -- can be likened to a bottle episode on TV, where all the characters, canned for a night, explore extremities of their natures that evaporate the next day. This is the perfect terrain for gender burlesque. The poem, with its jilted asides (‘is this an audience?’) and deeply surreal stage directions (‘[The RAC man transforms into a Moon Calf]’) is an overt construct, as are the roles it presents; for example, when the RAC man ‘asks about her child-bearing lips’ the kittenista screams:
“How” arms raised, bangles rattling, "do we all keep walking upright?”

Her biological barrenness is hammy in its execution, playing perhaps upon the lewd, unmaternal, sharp-edged stereotype of a ‘feminist’ that never quite fully evaporated from 70s propaganda. This paper character is created to be scrunched up, and the beauty of her final line ‘this night will mean something’, is that it will probably mean nothing. The grotesque flashes of bellowed monologues and metamorphoses will be gone by morning, only to inhabit other lives, other places, other poems. With its separated cells all contributing to a whole, an anthology is a fascinating environment for performativity; for the fluidity of these deaths and re-births, a trying-on and shucking-off that reminds us that if assumptions around gender can be built, they can be broken down just as simply as when a curtain (or poem) closes and re-opens as something new.
As well as the overtly theatrical amplification of accepted roles, the women in Out Of Everywhere 2 have re-imagined the domestic sphere as an uncanny site of horror. Sophie Robinson, in her poem ‘She! The Revolution rooms – bathroom’ presents a world that stands so stoically beside reality that it enters its microfibres, seemingly abstract in close-up but penetrative on a cellular level, as the cooling relationship strikes the emotional attention of the reader:
Chin shadows curve the day away,
Unhook her with scissors: bathroom exile.
Thrust, sunny thrust, fisherman’s snag,
The comparative horror of a slipped rug
Toweling skywards, splashing ochre.

The syntax reads like a broken window being pieced back together, an intriguing pasting of sound and image that merges the visual and auditory. Yet there is nothing about this writing that deviates from the visceral: it is a sickening swoop into something unclean created purely from a lurching soundscape. It is a tight molecular structure, keeping us firmly in the fleshy ‘now’ of the poem:
We flinched again – you’ll clear the glob – legs of blood,
of satin stocking under plaintive offspring

For Robinson, rooms are not transient spaces that ‘symbolise’ the lives we lead, or cells to inhabit before exiting. They are not passive places, but the apparatus of our present lives; the question posed is: how can we stop treating poetry as a passive space, like the way we treat rooms? This deeply resonant final stanza may shed some darkness:
She is naked, screaming, this is not a
metaphor. To habituate or
symbolise this thought is nothing less.
You think of a bathroom as transitory
places, but people can die there, humming,
dark sun, slow destination, humming.

Sascha Ahktar, in her poem ‘House,’ also employs this fragmentation of daily flashes in an exquisitely warped house-in-the-woods, in fairy-like proportions:
Magick, eggblue
umbrella, paper
kitchen hexe

The single images seem almost like sweetly naive guesses for a word game, and are overturned by the final line:
hangman, the hanging man

Are we seeing again how the beautiful abstract can become an endgame when it cannot connect to lived experience?
What we return to ultimately is the poetic experience of ‘everywhere’, and Critchley’s anthology is tangible evidence of this; a working process of what female writers in the UK and North America are striving to achieve. Emily Critchley's statement that to cover all of this talent is an overwhelming impossibility is something I think I've proven, and I regret all omissions. I cannot fully articulate the diversity of style, form and rebellion of the book, which is broader than that which I can map here, and needs to be read to be wholly absorbed. I urge women writers to keep this Everywhereland in mind. - Kate Duckney
It’s alive. Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically innovative poetry by women in North America & the UK is an anthology of “formally original, politically and philosophically engaged poetry”. A sequel – twenty years on – to Out of Everywhere, which featured Caroline Bergvall, Fanny Howe, Susan Howe, Bernadette Mayer, Geraldine Monk, Maggie O’Sullivan, Denise Riley, Lisa Robertson, Leslie Scalapino and Catriona Strang, among many others. There is a hint of female canon-formation here, a nascent web in which established poets enable a new generation (I can see Denise Riley’s influence threading through parts of this anthology). This is also a very interdisciplinary crowd – many of the featured poets being performers as well – with a CD available featuring some of the work included. The book opens with a quotation from Eleni Sikelianos’ ‘The California Poem’:
Now: to let go what we knew
to be not tight, but
toney; to find a world, a word
we didn’t know

This is a manifesto for what follows, trying to “find a world” in poetry that’s unfamiliar, full of textured musical sound (“toney” rather than “tight”), and potentially utopian.

Sacha Akhtar describes skyscrapers, highways and cities as if through coloured, distorted film or jelly, like a road movie made by an alien:
Skyscraper, blue
tango pass night
plumes leather
head catch elevator
Tunes, catch word
She uses the rhythmic, calm delivery of a shipping forecast, syntactically disrupted by line breaks (“elevator // Tunes”), yet visually evocative; minimalistic without being barren. I love a poem called ‘ROCOCO’ purely for this combination of words:
fall, elf gem
cislunar chevelure
glisten cherry
boat ink
What is an “elf gem”? A fall of rain? Akhtar creates small, immersive poems of extreme close-ups and disorienting beauty. Their titles often relate to their content (‘FAINT’ begins “Sleep, restful / place recharge shh”): they are not entirely detached from sense, but neither are they narratively straightforward. Dreamy, hypnotic, and full of tender textures: “love her skull-river // Flesh, bright.”
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge’s work is ambitious, impressively fine-grained and lucid. She draws out minute biological processes to describe the formation of a body, striking nuanced balance between seemingly-scientific detachment, poignancy and emotion:
Her hands enlarge.
She can’t see where her sadness ends and someone else’s is.
The line between chemical and emotion is the horizon inside a niche in her
body, transferring non-being to utility.
This feels like peering, closely, into a microscope, at the intertwining of biological matter and consciousness. Andrea Brady’s work also contains an essay-like sequence on motherhood, as if delivering an economic lecture to a baby: “You started out / a creature of trade: you get your best terms, / fight your poverty with greed and violent / sound.”
Amy De’Ath’s poetry is so universally vibrant that it grabs attention by the throat. Her use of rhythm, rhyme and exclamation is so striking that I risk, if anything, disregarding meaning completely, just chomping her lines down for their taste. This is partly because she moves so quickly: in ‘Lower Parallel’, the streaming of water into a washing machine turns rapidly into an online streaming of culture in bed, which then merges into darker content. Her poems aren’t tame, and parts remain semi-cryptic and mystic, using Yoda-like sentence structures. So I’m not sure of my interpretation, but would hazard a guess that ‘Lower Parallel’ expresses a clash of beauty and endless distraction that both disguises and reflects wider violence (whether or not this comes out in the wash). Her writing is full of this push-and-pull between distraction and concentration, consumption and consummation, with a ferocity of feeling that communicates before it is understood: “Here’s a population of rage at you, there is a heaped tenderness consumed”.
She also writes unambiguous joy. The ending of ‘Vertigo Valley’ reminds me of Frank O’Hara’s ‘Having A Coke With You’ (“and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism”):
all the wild things wild leaves suddenly make me welcome.
Now I am conducive to everything.
Note today outside of notebooks in the
splayed plumage of our shared brain,
it doesn’t matter even what I’m doing if your head is turning
beautifully to the left is
turning beautifully.
There is too much to say, so many of these poets write startlingly. Eleni Sikelianos offers a funny-sad elegy: “it hurts / when someone drives a boat through your heart, however small, even in dreams”. Holly Pester performs surreal poem-jokes that are also serious. Susan M. Schultz writes ‘Memory Cards’, a series of poems like diary entries, intimate and closely observed. Frances Kruk’s poems feel sharp, angry and funny (“The most Pathetic poem is small people on fire”), populated by dwarves, trapped on lost islands:
I ordered a hurricane & I am still
on this island I am still
on this island
Mairéad Byrne uses repetition to great effect, collaging and looping phrases in ‘BAGHDAD’, centred on the 2003 invasion of Iraq (in varying font sizes that I can’t replicate here):
in central baghdad in the heart of baghdad in the heart of baghdad penetrate the heart of baghdad into the centre of baghdad to smash rocked the centre of baghdad stacked up over baghdad enveloping baghdad penetrating baghdad isolated baghdad swept low over baghdad thrust into baghdad night- time bombing of baghdad the people of baghdad had the poor of baghdad the people of baghdad deserted streets of western baghdad in the streets of baghdad on a house in baghdad’s street dogs of Baghdad convoy out of baghdad battle of baghdad all across baghdad vast areas of baghdad vast areas of baghdad vast, flat city of baghdad baghdad’s hospitals liberated baghdad Hi you guys. I’m in Baghdad outside baghdad inside baghdad baghdad burning 18 blue and black arrows around baghdad fell on baghdad head out of baghdad leaving baghdad history of baghdad as we left baghdad
In ‘Life Is Too Easy’, she describes being insulated from the worst the world threatens:
You haul stuff in & you haul stuff out. You go to work. You come home. Then it’s Saturday again & you clean your house. There is no earthquake in your city & your parents or your children don’t disappear. You are not 14 & about to be married off to a cousin who will beat you. You are not a 2-year old girl carrying water. You have not been sad for 20 years. You do not think of setting fire to yourself. Life is too easy to say anything further about it here.
For all that the poetry world seems to invite divisions between ‘traditional’ and ‘innovative’ poetry, the subjects of this book are the subjects of all poetry / life, encompassing love, sex, politics, gender, the body, ageing, language, parenthood, biology, empathy and its brutal limits, war, money, nature, death. Lisa Jarnot writes:
my love speaks like the chickens in the blue light by
the cape. my love speaks like the jets of grain. my love speaks like
the ivy in the hence field.
‘Linguistically innovative’ simply seems to refer to the energy with which words are thrown at these walls, sometimes exploding, sometimes cohering, interplaying sense-as-sound and sound-as-sense. Francesca Lisette offers this cry:
Flash of silver eyes & hard engagement she rinses all
intensity with her own pearl blankness, engorged
with flowers & riding over the dashed day with hooks
for frowns with sallow weeds for trophies with poverty
for aces with battered words for armour, she is bound
to charge across each of our faces at the battle-lines,
unrecognized in flame
There is great intensity in this book. Innovative poetry can develop its own share of clichés (words like ‘erasure’; jargon; poems-only-about-writing-poems) and, in rapidly condensing 350-odd pages for review, I find myself leaping at brightly-lit moments, sometimes tiring of that knottiness which requires slower work, the consciousness of language as a material as well as a medium. However, this anthology is mostly blissfully free of cliché, often performative, filled with a lyrically unpredictable prism-ing of language that’s determined to push beyond telling the reader what they already know they know. It contains such reams of adventurous poetry that it’s bewildering in its overflow.
Julia Spahr makes a poem from dazzling lists of creatures, writing “this is […] where we learned depth” (this is only a tiny excerpt):
the river redhorse, the locust, the ebonyshelf, the giant water
bug, the maple, the eastern phoebe, the white sucker, the creek
heelsplitter, the mulberry, the crane fly larva, the mountain
madtom, the oak, the bank swallow, the wabash pigtoe, the
damselfly larva, the pine, the stonecat, the kidneyshell,
the plum, the midge larva, the eastern sand darter, the rose,
the purple wartyback, the narrow-winged damselfly, the
spruce, the pirate perch, the threehorn wartyback, the sumac,
the black fly larva, the redside dace, the tree-of-heaven, the
orange-foot pimpleback, the dragonfly larva, the walnut,
the gold fish, the butterfly, the striped fly larva, the willow,
the freshwater drum, the ohio pigtoe, the warmouth, the
mayfly nymph, the clubshell.
And this was just the beginning of the list.
- Emily Critchley

Out of Everywhere: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK, Ed. by Maggie O’Sullivan, Reality Street Editions, 1996.

Linguistically innovative poetry, language-centred poetry, call it what you will, is often thought of as a male preserve. This anthology, first published in 1996, paints a very different picture. It demonstrates that some of the most challenging and exciting new work over recent years is being made by women.The 30 poets included in this anthology are: Rae Armantrout, Caroline Bergvall, Nicole Brossard, Paula Claire, Tina Darragh, Deanna Ferguson, Kathleen Fraser, Barbara Guest, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, Fanny Howe, Susan Howe, Grace Lake, Karen MacCormack, Bernadette Mayer, Geraldine Monk, Wendy Mulford, Melanie Neilson, Maggie O’Sullivan, Carlyle Reedy, Joan Retallack, Denise Riley, Lisa Robertson, Leslie Scalapino, Catriona Strang, Fiona Templeton, Rosmarie Waldrop, Diane Ward, Hannah Weiner, Marjorie Welish.


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