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Rachel Blau DuPlessis (born 1941 in Brooklyn, New York) an American poet and essayist, is known as a feminist critic and scholar with a special interest in modernist and contemporary poetry. DuPlessis teaches English and Creative Writing at Temple University and is the author of Writing Beyond the Ending: Narrative Strategies of Twentieth-Century Women Writers (1985), H.D.: The Career of that Struggle (1986), both from Indiana University Press; The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice (Routledge, 1990) and Genders, Races, and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry, 1908-1934 (ISBN 0-521-48335-2, Cambridge University Press, 2001) [1]

DuPlessis is the editor of The Selected Letters of George Oppen (Duke University Press, 1990), and the co-editor with Peter Quartermain of The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics (University of Alabama Press, 1999). Since 1986, Rachel Blau DuPlessis has been writing a long poem ("endless poem") in canto-like sections, grouped in nineteen units. Their themes involve among them : history, gender, mourning and hope. This project is collected in two works so far: Drafts 1-38, Toll (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and DRAFTS Drafts 39-57, Pledge, with Draft unnumbered: Précis (Salt Publishing, 2004).

DuPlessis earned her PhD in 1970 from Columbia University and her dissertation was titled "The Endless Poem: "Paterson" of William Carlos Williams and "The Pisan Cantos" of Ezra Pound. [2]

Among some of her honors, she has received the Roy Harvey Pearce / Archive for New Poetry Prize (2002) as a scholar poet. In 2002 she was awarded a Pew Fellowship for Artists.


  1. ^ This work demonstrates how, through poetic language, modernist writers represented the debates around such social issues of modernity as suffrage, sexuality, manhood, and African-American and Jewish subjectivities. DuPlessis engages with the work of such canonical poets as Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore and H. D., as well as Mina Loy, Countee Cullen, Alfred Kreymborg and Langston Hughes. These writers are still marginalized by existing constructions of modernism. By a reading method she calls 'social philology', this book is an attempt to remap our understanding of modern poetries and poetics and the relationship between early twentieth-century writing and society.
  2. ^ for more info see: Paterson ; William Carlos Williams ; The Pisan Cantos ; & Ezra Pound

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