January 28, 2023

Rachel Blau DuPlessis (USA) 1941

Rachel Blau DuPlessis (USA)


Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941, to Joseph L Blau, a professor, and Eleanor Blau, a librarian,

Rachel Blau DuPlessis attended Barnard College, where she received her BA in 1963. She received a Master’s degree and a PhD from Columbia University in 1964 and 1970, writing for her dissertation, “The Endless Poem: Paterson of William Carlos Williams and The Pisan Cantos of Ezra Pound.”

      She became a professor, teaching literature and creative writing, at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1974, becoming a professor emerita in 2011. In 2012, she was Distinguished Vistor at University of Auckland, and she has taught also at Trenton State College, Rutgers University, Columbia University, the Université de Lille III (France) and Rijksuniversiteit-Gent (Belgium).

     Since 1985, DuPlessis began her own “endless poem,” “Drafts,” what she and others have described as a “life poem,” appearing in canto-like sections, grouped in nineteen units each in various magazines and book publications focused on themes of history, gender, mourning, and hope.

      The first two “Drafts” originally appeared in the journal Temblor and were later collected in book for as Tabula Rosa in 1987. Further volumes appeared in Drafts 1-31, Toll (2001), Drafts 39-57, Pledge, with Draft, Unnumbered: Précis (2004), Torques: Drafts 58-76 (2007), Pitch: Drafts 77-95 (2010), and Surge: Drafts 96-114 (2013).

      DuPlessis married Robert Saint-Cyr DuPlessis, the Isaac H. Clothier Professor Emeritus of History and International Relations at Swarthmore College. They have two children.

      Among her numerous awards and honors are a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a grant from Pennsylvania Council on Arts, and a Fund for Poetry grant. In 2002 she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize for a lifetime contribution to American poetry and literary scholarship.

      DuPlessis has also written several publications of literary studies, including Writing Beyond the Ending: Narrative Strategies of Twentieth-Century Women Writers (1985), H.D.: The Career of that Struggle (1986), The Pink Guitar: writing as Feminist Practice (1990), Genders, Races, and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry, 1908-1934 (2001), Blue Studios: Poetry and Its Cultural Work (2006), and Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley, and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry (2012). She edited The Selected Letters of George Oppen in 1990.




Wells (New York: Montemora, 1980); Gypsy / Moth (Oakland, California: Coincidence Press, 1984); Tabula Rosa (Elmwood, Connecticut: Potes and Poets Press, 1987); Draft X: Letters (Philadelphia: Singing Horse Press, 1991); Drafts 3-14 (Elmwood, Connecticut: Potes and Poets Press, 1991); Essais: Quatre poèmes (Bar-le Duc, France: Editions Créaphis, 1996); Drafts 15-XXX, The Fold (Elmwood, Connecticut: Potes and Poets Press, 1997); Renga: Draft 32 (Philadelphia: Beautiful Swimmer Press, 1998); Drafts 1-38, Toll (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2001); Draft, Unnumbered: Précis (Vancouver, Canada: Nomados, 2003); Drafts 39-57, Pledge with Draft, Unnumbered: Précis (Cambridge, England: Salt Publishing, 2004); Torques, Drafts 58-76 (Cambridge, England: Salt Publishing, 2007); Pitch: Drafts 77-95 (Cambridge, England: Salt Publishing, 2010); The Collage Poems of Drafts (Cambridge, England: 2011); Surge: Drafts 96-114 (Cambridge, England: Salt Publishing, 2013); Interstices (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Subpress, 2014); Graphic Novella (West Lima, Wisconsin: Xexoxial Editions, 2015); Poesis (Houston, Texas: Little Red Leaves Textile Editions, 2016); Days and Works (Boise, Idaho: Ahsahta Press); Selected Poems (Tucson, Arizona: Chax Press, 2022)

Go here to read another biography and a selection from her poetry:


No comments: