This is the first book-length study to read women of the Beat Generation as feminist writers. The book focuses on one author from each of the three generations that comprise the groups of female writers associated with the Beats – Diane di Prima, ruth weiss and Anne Waldman – as well as on experimental and multimedia artists, such as Laurie Anderson and Kathy Acker, who have not been read through the prism of Beat feminism before. This book argues that these writers’ feminism evolved over time but persistently focussed on intertextuality, transformation, revisionism, gender,  interventionist poetics and activism. It demonstrates how these Beat feminisms counteract the ways in which women have been undermined, possessed or silenced.


Introduction: The Beat Aesthetic

  1. Female Subjectivities in Beat Textuality by Male Authors
  2. Narratives of Emergence: Diane di Prima’s This Kind of Bird Flies Backward and Dinners and Nightmares
  3. Clarity of Vision through Transformation in ruth weiss’ Desert Journal
  4. Feminist Revision in Diane di Prima’s Loba
  5. Radical Interventions: Laurie Anderson, Anne Waldman and Kathy Acker Do Burroughs
  6. Activism, Gender and the Feminist Form in Anne Waldman: Fast Speaking Woman and The Iovis Trilogy