To the Many by Lola Ridge

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4 Lola Ridge fcp 4.jpg
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To the Many by Lola Ridge

14.00

Collected Early Works

edited by Daniel Tobin

Born in Ireland, raised in New Zealand and reaching artistic maturity in New York, Lola Ridge was transnational long before the term gained currency. She established herself as one of the most notable poets in America with the publication of The Ghetto in 1918 and continued to write socially and spiritually conscious poetry up until her death in 1941. This new edition of her early poems intends to redress the serious neglect her work has endured over the past seventy-five years. It includes the early feminist essay ‘Woman and the Creative Will’ and the never before published manuscript-collection ‘Verses’.

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August 2018

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Anne Stevenson on Lola Ridge

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.

Elaine Feinstein on Lola Ridge

"Lola Ridge delights in the detail of city life: the splashes of colour, the alien smells, the architecture of poor streets. Her evocation of the people she observes is often as haunting as Reznikoff"