The Feminist Avant-Garde offers a historical and theoretical account of avant-garde women poets in America from the 1910s through the 1990s and asserts an alternative tradition to predominantly male-dominated avant-garde movements. Frost argues that this alternative lineage distinguishes itself by its feminism and its ambivalence toward existing avant-garde projects; she also thoroughly explores feminist avant-garde poets’ debts and contributions to their male counterparts.
If this book makes one thing clear, it’s that the avant-garde is not something you decide to put on like a new dress; instead it is an active and necessary response to a historical and aesthetic moment. . . . The strength of these writers is that they will never occupy a center, a ‘main’ stream. Instead their poems make audible the polyglot rumbling and roaring on the periphery.
– Jena Osman, The Women’s Review of Books
Elizabeth Frost, The Feminist Avant-Garde in American Poetry (Iowa UP 2003).