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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article puts early modern poetry by women in dialogue with economic theory and thus opens unacknowledged intersections for discussion. In looking at the early poetry of Mina Loy, Lola Ridge, and Marianne Moore in relation to economics, it is important to recognize not only that economic theory mattered to a wide public in the early years of the twentieth century but that the economic field was itself a gendered site of contention as it transitioned into a centrally defining system of modernity. Not only did these three poets circulate in the same avant-garde crowds in New York during the late teens and publish in many of the same little magazines, they also shared feminist sentiments concurrent with the first-wave movement, including challenges to male-dominated economies and institutions. Within their work, economic arrangements of gender are not only challenged but connected to modern ideas of value, work, desire, and need; subsequently, the tension between an economy of consumption and an economy of social provisioning finds expression in a distinctively feminist poetics concerned with capitalism's degradation of both work and human need.

Keywords: early modern poetry, women poets, women's poetry, economic theory, modernity, poets, gender

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