Rowena Kennedy-Epstein is Lecturer in Gender and Women's Writing of the 20th and 21st Centuries at the University of Bristol, where she coordinates the Global Feminisms research cluster. She recovered and edited Muriel Rukeyser’s lost Spanish Civil War novel Savage Coast (Feminist Press, 2013), as well as the edition “Barcelona, 1936” & Selections from the Spanish Civil War Archive (CUNY 2011). She is completing a monograph on Muriel Rukeyser and the Cold War, and has forthcoming articles on Rukeyser’s unfinished collaboration with the photographer Berenice Abbott and on The Life of Poetry. She also writes on women’s experimental and radical projects across the 20th century, from Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and Claudia Rankine, and is editing a special issue on “Women’s Experimental Forms” for The Journal of Narrative Theory (2018).
During my first term as a new lecturer in twentieth/twenty-first century women’s writing and gender studies, a male colleague said that he would never teach H.D. in a course with Pound and Eliot because she “just wasn’t in the same league, at all.” When I disagreed, a second male colleague offered to sit down with me “and go line by line and prove why her poetry was not as good as that of her male counterparts.” The cocktail-party conversation