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While the poetry of Cavafy, Elytis, Ritsos, and Seferis is readily available to English speakers, Greek women's poetry remains virtually unknown to non-specialists. The Rehearsal of Misunderstanding, which includes collections by Rhea Galanaki, Jenny Mastoraki, and Maria Laina, fills a serious gap in contemporary poetry in translation, in general, and in Greek poetry, in particular.
Drawing on the formative experience of writing under an authoritarian regime (1967-1974), women poets in the 1980s forged a poetics which unsettled and disrupted fixed meanings and gender roles. Each of the three collections in this anthology rehearses the myriad ways we are misunderstood and misrepresented by others and ourselves. Like recent American language poetry by women which draws on the work of Emily Dickinson and Gertrude Stein, these series of interwoven poems transform hermeticism into a feminine survival strategy for recognizing how meaning is lost, disfigured, or denied.
By grouping these poets together and providing a cogent introductory essay, Van Dyck's bilingual book will engage a wide range of readers interested in poetry, Modern Greek culture, gender studies, and feminist poetics.
CONTRIBUTORS: Rhea Galanaki, Maria Laina, Jenny Mastoraki.