New book by Lara Vetter, A Curious Peril: H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose

The University Press of Florida has just published Lara Vetter’s new book, A Curious Peril: H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose. The monograph offers readings of a range of H.D.’s post-World War II writing: The Sword Went Out to Sea, By Avon River, White Rose and the Red, The Mystery, Magic Mirror, Compassionate Friendship, and End to Torment, with briefer discussion of Thorn Thicket, the Hirslanden Notebooks, and, from earlier in H.D.’s career, The Moment and Palimpsest. It also includes a chronology of H.D.’s writing from this period and an appendix mapping works that H.D. owned or read that inform Vetter’s discussion.


Here is the link to the publisher:





Modernist Women Writers and Spirituality: A Piercing Darkness edited collection now available

Book Cover for Modernist Women Writers and Spirituality, featuring a glowing moon in a cloudy sky. The edited collection Modernist Women Writers
and Spirituality: A Piercing Darkness
, edited by Elizabeth Anderson, Andrew Radford, and Heather Walton, has been released by Palgrave (January 2017). Contributions by Suzanne Hobson and Matte Robinson focus on H.D., alongside chapters devoted to a range of other modernist women writers, including Mary Butts, Jane Harrison, Dora Marsden, and many more.

Order the book or individual chapters at




Cynthia Hogue’s Poetry Collection Published by Red Hen Press

Screen shot of Cynthia Hogue's Web page featuring her new poetry collection, In June the Labyrinth, by Red Hen Press, 2017
Poetry Collection, In June the Labyrinth by Cynthia Hogue, published by Red Hen Press, 2017

Poet and H.D. Scholar, Cynthia Hogue, has published her ninth poetry collection, In June the Labyrinth (Red Hen Press, 2017). This book-length poetry sequence shares a mythopoetic approach often found in H.D.’s poetry as well. Excerpts from In June the Labyrinth have also been featured in Tupelo Quarterly

Cynthia Hogue served as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Cornell University in the Spring of 2014. She was a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation, and holds the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University.


New Novella Explores Alice Modern, H.D., and Bryher

Xoxox Press, a small press publisher in Gambier, Ohio, has issued a novella by Michelle Auerbach, titled Alice Modern.

Book Cover image for Alice Modern, a novel by Michelle Auerbach
Book Cover for novella, Alice Modern, a novel by Michelle Auerbach

Modernist poet H.D. and her lover, Winifred Ellerman (known as Bryher), are central protagonists in a graceful, erotically lush novella of 1930s Europe. Young Alice Modern tells the tale of leaving her bourgeois Jewish home in Vienna to work as a nanny in the household of H.D. and Bryher, caring for their young child Perdita. Entranced by the keen literary lives of “Kat” and “Gryphon” in Switzerland, Alice begins to transcend her tightly-bound life and discover who she is and might become. Her world opens and her sexuality awakens in a time of political turmoil and existential hazard, reckoning with her own inner storms and the approaching flames of fascism and holocaust.

“This taut, handsome tale brings the gone world so gleamingly to life you could imagine it was all happening just yesterday or earlier today or even tomorrow. Not only does Auerbach write excellent sentences, she deploys them with great care and craft to build a gripping tale of war, love, friendship, and the deep wells of the mind.” — Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome and Kind One


Off the Beaten Track in H.D. Criticism: “H.D. and the Archaeology of Religion”

Screen Capture of the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory
Screen Capture of the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory

Though published in 2010, the H.D. special issue of the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory offers fascinating resources about H.D. and Robert Duncan, Sigmund Freud, the British Museum exhibits, spiritualism and the occult, and much more. The special issue, “H.D. and the Archaeology of Religion,” is introduced by Colbey Reid. Other articles are by Amy Evans, Lisa Simon, Erin M. McNellis, Amaranth Borsuk, and Merrill Cole.

A nice summary of the journal contents appears in H.D.’s Web: An E-newsletter, Winter 2009. Since the journal is indexed in religion and humanities databases, rather than ones devoted to literature, these citations may be hard to find.


Paul Robeson’s Borderline discussed in Skin Acts

Book Cover for Skin Acts by Michelle Ann Stephens
Book Cover for Skin Acts by Michelle Ann Stephens

Finding H.D. Studies in unexpected places….

Michelle Ann Stephens’s Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis, and the Black Male Performer (Duke UP, 2014) devotes a chapter to Paul Robeson, including his work on Borderline. Her chapter, “Bodylines, Borderlines, Color Lines” takes up Robeson’s physical performance as well as the meaning of his performance situated within the H.D./Bryher/Macpherson group within the film.

Book Description from the Duke Press page:

In Skin Acts, Michelle Ann Stephens explores the work of four iconic twentieth-century black male performers—Bert Williams, Paul Robeson, Harry Belafonte, and Bob Marley—to reveal how racial and sexual difference is both marked by and experienced in the skin. She situates each figure within his cultural moment, examining his performance in the context of contemporary race relations and visual regimes. Drawing on Lacanian psychoanalysis and performance theory, Stephens contends that while black skin is subject to what Frantz Fanon called the epidermalizing and hardening effects of the gaze, it is in the flesh that other—intersubjective, pre-discursive, and sensuous—forms of knowing take place between artist and audience. Analyzing a wide range of visual, musical, and textual sources, Stephens shows that black subjectivity and performativity are structured by the tension between skin and flesh, sight and touch, difference and sameness.

H.D. featured in The Transmutation of Love and Avant-Garde Poetics

Book Cover of The Transmutation of Love and Avant Garde Poetics by Jeanne HeuvingJeanne Heuving’s The Transmutation of Love and Avant-Garde Poetics is now out from the Modern and Contemporary Poetics series of the University of Alabama Press. Heuving claims that this writing of love is defining for avant-garde poetics, identifying how such important discoveries as Pound’s and H.D.’s Imagism, Pound’sCantos, and Duncan’s “open field poetics” are derived through their changed writing of love. This book places H.D. at the center of Modernist invention.  There are chapters in the book on “Imagism as Projective Love”  and on “Being in Love and Writing Love,” as well as individual chapters on H.D., Pound, Robert Duncan, Nathaniel Mackey, and Kathleen Fraser.


Jeanne Heuving has written an ardent study of the metamorphosis of Western love and its classic poetic tropes involving desire and the poetic objects of longing, by proposing an altered configuration of eros in modern and contemporary poetry. Resisting the attack on or the reduction of love as only a literary or social convention, and acknowledging changed relations of gender and altered knowledge of sexualities in modernity, Heuving treats the poetic practices of Pound, H.D., Duncan, Fraser and Mackey and offers serious theorizing on the poetics of Amor. This vibrant contribution to poetic criticism makes claims for love as ecstatic perception, the I as “othered” in love, and the affects and effects of this eros, all going beyond the poetry of the yearning gaze and the static beloved into a wider libidinal field. In fascinating readings and deft theoretical insights, she tracks the implications of this re-articulation of eros for poetic languages, formal innovations, textual subjectivities, and poetics.”
—Rachel Blau DuPlessis, author of The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist PracticeBlue Studios: Poetry and Its Cultural Work, and Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley, and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry

The Transmutation of Love and Avant-Garde Poetics proposes that the engagement of sexual love and its energies is the source of the creative power in some of the most interesting poetry written in the past one hundred years. Asserting the value of a ‘projective love and libidinized field poetics,’ Jeanne Heuving astutely draws our attention to the erotic transformations that animate the poetry of Pound, H. D., Duncan, Mackey, and Fraser, assessing changes through the psychodynamic propositions of Plato, Freud, Lacan, and Kristeva. The result is a truly enlightening insistence on the connections between these poets’ formal innovations and the topic of sexual love, whose permissions Heuving ingeniously finds submerged as a slowed down, introjective set of relations in Olson’s ‘Projective Verse,’ a discovery I find revelatory. The whole book, sharply written and superbly argued, should alter the way American avant-garde poetry is read.”

—Peter O’Leary, author of Phosphorescence of Thought and Gnostic Contagion: Robert Duncan and the Poetry of Illness


Matte Robinsons’ New Book, The Astral H.D., Released February 2016

Book cover image for Matte Robinson's The Astral H.D. (Bloomsbury 2016)
Book cover image for Matte Robinson’s The Astral H.D. (Bloomsbury 2016)

We are pleased to announce the release of Matte Robinson’s new critical assessment of the role of the occult in H.D.’s life and work. The book, The Astral H.D. (Bloomsbury, 2016), includes examination of Majic RingTrilogyVale Ave, Sigmund Freud, Erich Heydt, and much more. Here’s the press blurb:

Modernist poet H.D. had many visionary and paranormal experiences throughout her life. Although Sigmund Freud worried that they might be ‘symptoms,’ she rebelled, educating herself in the alternative world of the occult and spiritualism in order to transform the raw material into a mythical autobiography woven throughout her poetry, prose, and life-writing. The Astral H.D. narrates the fascinating story of how she used the occult to transform herself, and provides surprising revelations about her friendships and conflicts with famous figures-such as Sigmund Freud and the Battle of Britain War Hero Hugh Dowding-along the way.

Congratulations to Matte!