News, Updates, and Posts

Bryher and Havelock Ellis in “Language, Labels and Categories” panel at Transformations Conference

two juxtaposed photos of Bryher, one as a young woman with long hair, and the second with short hair and wearing a militaristic suitDiscussing the insufficiency of labels and categories for gender and sexuality, panelists in the History 2 Workshop  explored the cases of Bryher, Havelock Ellis, and several other twentieth-century artists, writers, and intellectuals. The panel was part of Transformations: Exploring the History of Science and Gender, an interdisciplinary conference in Exeter, UK.
logo banner from the Transformations conference


Lara Vetter’s A Curious Peril Out in Paperback

photo of book cover of A Curious Peril featuring an image of H.D. in a wide-brimmed hat seated at a table taken during the period of her late prose

Lara Vetter’s A Curious Peril: H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose (2017) is a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and now it is available in paperback. The book provides both a political and intellectual context for H.D.’s late prose that extends far beyond H.D. and makes the work an excellent anchor for any course on late modernism, literature and WWII, or literature and war in general.

from the University Press of Florida Web page:
“Vetter’s book stands as an important corrective to accounts of H.D. as ethereal and disconnected. She shows, carefully and persuasively, that H.D.’s engagement with politics was not merely the interest of a woman who happened to live through some seismic shifts in political and national history, but that H.D. was engaged to the extent of the imaginative construction of possible social and political futures.”—Review of English Studies


Events in Finding H.D.: A Year-Long Celebration of Hilda Doolittle in Bethlehem, PA

Finding HD 2019: A Community Exploration poster with photo portraits of H.D.
Finding HD 2019 Web Page at the Bethlehem Public Library

Lehigh University, the Bethlehem Area Public Library, Mock Turtle Marionette Theater, and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center are joining forces to promote a year of community engagement with H.D. and her legacy. The year of events will culminate in the debut of a new play in October 2019.

A complete calendar of events is available online.

Find out more about the people and projects in this Morning Call news article.


CFP American Literature Association Boston May 2019, deadline Jan 15

American Literature Association Conference Web Page Screen Shot
American Literature Association Conference Web Page

The H.D. International Society will sponsor one session at the 2019 annual conference of the American Literature Association, May 23-26, 2019, at Westin Copley Place in Boston. We have had excellent panels at ALA lately, and we hope you can join us. 

The American Literature Association’s 30th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston on May 23-26, 2019 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend).  For further information, please consult the ALA website at

Please send proposals (up to 250 words), along with a brief biography or curriculum vitae, to Celena Kusch, co-chair of the H.D. International Society) at Submissions must be received no later than January 15, 2019.

All the best, 

Celena Kusch & Rebecca Walsh, Co-Chairs, H.D. International Society


Bethlehem Area Public Library Dedicates Plaque to H.D. at Former Site of Her Childhood Home

Lehigh University Flier Announcing the dedication of a new plaque honoring H.D.

Unlike many of the beautifully-preserved Moravian buildings of Bethlehem, PA, H.D.’s childhood home did not survive. On the site now stand the City Hall and, perhaps fittingly, the Bethlehem Area Public Library. In September 2017, United for Libraries named the site one of 160 literary landmarks. For a local newspaper story about the dedication, see The Morning Call‘s “Literary Landmark in Bethlehem Named in Honor of Hilda Doolittle.”

1874 Map of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, showing Helen Wolle’s family home


CFP Robert Duncan Centennial Conference, Sorbonne, June 12-14 2019

Book Cover: Robert Duncan's The H.D. Book by University of California Press, 2011. Features a cover black and white photo of Robert Duncan on a beach with hair blowing in the wind.
Book Cover: Robert Duncan’s The H.D. Book by University of California Press, 2011. Features a cover black and white photo of Robert Duncan.

“Passages”: The Robert Duncan Centennial Conference at the Sorbonne Université, Paris, June 12-14 2019, welcomes papers on the H.D./Duncan connection (The H.D. Book, the correspondence, etc.) among many other possible topics. Anyone who remembers the 2013 H.D. and Modernity Conference in Paris will remember many of these conference organizers as well.

Conference keynotes:

Stephen Fredman
Miriam Nichols
Michael Palmer

“I am speaking now of the Dream in which America sleeps, the New World, moaning, floundering, in three hundred years of invasions, our own history out of Europe and enslaved Africa.”—Robert Duncan, Ground Work

American poet Robert Duncan would be turning 100 in January 2019. With his direct address to his contemporaries and the broad forces and structures—psychological, political, cosmological—at work in the world, and with his aspiration to write a holistic “grand collage” sweeping up all possible inputs to his poetry, it could be argued that we need Duncan’s work and his vision now more than ever.

Duncan’s work on a poetry and poetics of “passages,” in particular, remains key. The “Passages” poems spatialize poetry as an “area of composition,” embrace discontinuity and incompletion (they remain part of a work always “larger than the book in which they appear”) and seek intertextual and psycho-social connection at every moment of their unfolding.

Radically open, Duncan’s work thus calls for re-engagement—for the following of new connecting passages through and out of his work, for drawing new poetic passages from a resource that remains inexhaustibly “beyond.” This is all the more important since Duncan’s creative heterodoxy eschews habitual notions of genealogy or tradition. Because his is a rare case of great relevance which does not easily translate into lineage, it seems most appropriate that one should now turn to Duncan, standing as we are today Before the War and In the Dark, and listen to the cadence of his verse anew.


The Paris Conference, as a centennial celebration of Robert Duncan’s works, invites proposals from scholars and poets. Possible topics may include:


* Responses to recent publications of note, such as The Collected Writings of Robert Duncan series published by University of California Press: The H.D. Book (ed. Michael Boughn and Victor Coleman, 2011), Collected Early Poems and Plays (ed. Peter Quartermain, 2012), Collected Later Poems and Plays (ed. Peter Quartermain, 2014), Collected Essays and Other Prose (ed. James Maynard, 2014); but also A Poet’s Mind: Collected Interviews with Robert Duncan 1960-1985 (North Atlantic Books, 2012), Imagining Persons: Robert Duncan’s Essays on Charles Olson (ed. Robert J. Bertholf and Dale M. Smith, UNMP, 2017), An Open Map: The Correspondence of Robert Duncan and Charles Olson (ed. Robert J. Bertholf and Dale M. Smith, UNMP, 2017)
* Manuscripts and archives: the Robert Duncan Papers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University at Buffalo
* Duncan’s published and unpublished correspondences: epistolary relations as poetics
* Duncan’s relations with the Berkeley and the San Francisco Renaissance poets (Jack Spicer, Robin Blaser, among others), the Black Mountain poets (Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, among others), H.D., Ezra Pound, Louis Zukofsky, Denise Levertov, but also with the new generations (e.g. the Language poets, Ron Silliman, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer, Nathaniel Mackey, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Stephen Collis), to name only a few.
* War, America, Empire, order, and strife
* Vocation and calling: Duncan on the role of poetry and the poet
* Duncan’s relationship with the French language, Francophone poets and translators
* Duncan and the poetry wars: polemics and poetics in postwar American poetry
* American poetry after Duncan: questions of influence
* The history of Duncan’s reception
* Duncan as teacher (San Francisco State University Poetry Center, Black Mountain College, University at Buffalo, New College, etc.), his lectures, workshops, readings
* Approaches to teaching Duncan
* Duncan’s queer legacy and the question of gender
* Duncan’s relationship/collaborations with Jess
* Duncan’s relationship to art and artists
* Duncan as artist
* Duncan and his library
* Duncan as critic
* Duncan’s relevance today
* New approaches to reading Duncan
Deadline: send a 250-300 word abstract to by September 1, 2018.
Notifications: by September 30, 2018.


Organizers: Hélène Aji (Université Paris Nanterre), Stephen Collis (Simon Fraser University), Xavier Kalck (Sorbonne Université), James Maynard (University at Buffalo), Clément Oudart (Sorbonne Université) 


Cynthia Hogue Publishes “On being ‘ill’-informed: H.D.’s late modernist poetics (of) d’espère” in Jacket2

H.D. at Yale Sept 1956 with Norman Holmes Pearson and Bryher in front of Sterling Library. Image from Beinecke Library Digital Collections. H.D. Papers.Cynthia Hogue’s poet’s essay, “On being ‘ill’-informed: H.D.’s late modernist poetics (of) d’espère,” appears in Jacket2, July 9, 2018.

This essay spans H.D.’s poetry and prose, from Trilogy and By Avon River to The Sword Went Out to Sea, Helen in EgyptVale AveHirslanden Notebooks, and Hermetic Definition. Hogue combines disability studies and feminist poetics to explore the later years of H.D.’s career.


CFP: MSA 2018 in Columbus, Ohio: Graphic Eroticism in Women’s Modernism (abstracts due 4/7/18)

CFP: Graphic Eroticism in Women’s Modernism

Web site for the MSA 2018 conference in Columbus, Ohio
Web site for the MSA 2018 conference in Columbus, Ohio

This panel seeks to examine graphic eroticism in its myriad modernist forms. From the graphically risque or taboo to the textual representations of non-normative sex and sexuality in poetry and prose, modernist women writers often embedded eroticism within their literary experiments.  With H.D., for instance, her letters describe trips to erotica shops in Vienna to find pornographic photos for Bryher and the pressure she received from publishers to write a tell-all memoir about her relationship with Ezra Pound and other male modernists, while her prose and poetry codify seduction and sexual encounters in less literal, though no less “graphic” ways. This panel encourages explorations of the relationship between the explicit, the erotic, and the graphic in the queer, straight, and mixed networks of women modernists. We welcome papers that interrogate modernist eroticism through a women-centered lens and that move past critical models of “romantic thralldom” or gendered revision in their approaches to gender, sex, and sexuality.

While sponsored by the H.D. International Society, the panel welcomes proposals that address a range of women modernists.  Consider scholarship like Jeanne Heuving’s The Transmutation of Love and Avant-Garde Poetics (U Alabama 2016), Miranda Hickman’s The Geometry of Modernism (U Texas 2005), Susan McCabe’s Cinematic Modernism (Cambridge UP 2005), Diana Collecott’s H.D. and Sapphic Modernism 1910-1950 (Cambridge UP 1999), Cassandra Laity’s H.D. and the Victorian Fin de Siecle (Cambridge UP 1996), not to mention work by Cynthia Hogue, Rachel Blau du Plessis, Eileen Gregory, and many more.

Please send a 250 to 300 word proposal with short bio to Celena Kusch ( by April 7, 2018.


Rebecca Bowler Reviews Books by Vetter and Robinson

One new review of H.D. Scholarship came out this autumn.

Cover image of The Review of English Studies
Cover of The Review of English Studies

Rebecca Bowler reviewed Lara Vetter’s A Curious Peril in The Review of English Studies published 8 Dec. 2017. In the past, she also reviewed Matte Robinson’s The Astral H.D. in Literature and Theology (Dec. 2017 issue).


CFP: H.D. at the American Literature Association in San Francisco, May 24-27, 2018

Screen Capture of the Home Page of the American Literature Association Web pageThe  H.D. International Society will again be sponsoring a panel at the American Literature Association conference, May 24-27, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, CA. The call for paper proposals is open ended, although projects working with some aspect of H.D.’s later writing or new approaches to teaching H.D. would be particularly welcome given the recent publications of H.D. editions and their scholarly framings. Please send a brief paper proposal (250 words) along with a short biography/CV to Celena Kusch,, no later than January 25, 2018.

For further information, please consult the ALA annual conference website at