Space, Art, and Activism: The Innovative Poetics of Anne Waldman & Rachel Blau DuPlessis


  • Zachary Humphrey
  • Yasmine Shamma


Anne Waldman, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, poetry, gender studies, activism


This article explores commonalities between the poetry of Anne Waldman and that of Rachel
Blau DuPlessis. Superficially, the poetics of Waldman and DuPlessis appear quite disparate from
each other with the exception that they are both female American poets working during the same
historical period. While Waldman is associated with the second generation of the New York School,
the Beatniks, and the Outrider experimental poetry movement, DuPlessis is more prominently lauded
for her work as a feminist critic and essayist. Though the pairing of Waldman and DuPlessis seems
incongruous, close readings of both poets reveal several common threads, most prominently their
innovative utilization of space, the connection of their poetics to other art forms, and the rooting of
their work in activist causes.