Never affiliated with any group or school, Anne Stevenson grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was educated at the University of Michigan where, in 1954, she won a Major Hopwood Prize for poetry. Since 1964 she has lived in the United Kingdom where a restless career as a mother, teacher, bookseller, and skep-tical enthusiast for some poetry has produced many volumes of verse, a highly controversial biography of Sylvia Plath, and two critical introductions to the work of Elizabeth Bishop.
Feminist critics will find much to invigorate and infuriate them in these essays. Stevenson believes that the "takeover" of poetry by critical theorists has, in recent years, all but brought about its demise in England and America. But she also fears that the media's doctrine of mass marketability may have a detrimental effect on the future of poetry. Her essays on Plath, Bishop, Irish poetry, and other subjects are as witty as they are challenging, upsetting many of the easy assumptions of our putatively "postmodern" era.