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from c.1970 to the Present


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Olga Broumas

Introduction to Poet


Series / Collections / Collected Works
General Critical Works

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Poet:   Olga Broumas

b. 1949

Birthplace : Greece (Hermoupolis)

Major Influences

Myth/folktales, zazen, bodywork therapy, translations of Elytis, collaborations with T. Belgley and Jane Miller.

Original Greek and Latin Source(s)

Homer, Horace, Ovid, Sappho

Mediating Sources

Racine, Virgil, Dante. Literary influences include Odysseus Elytis and Adrienne Rich.

Associations with Literary Period/Movements

General Comment

Broumas' second English-language collection, Beginning with O , was selected for the Yale Younger Poet's Award. Since then she has published a number of collections of poetry and is currently Poet in Residence and Director of Creative writing at Brandeis University , Massachusetts . Her early poetic responses to Greek myth employ ‘revisionary' tactics by stripping away the patriarchal elements and celebrating female relationships, power and desire (usually homoerotic), and are greatly influenced by the revisionist mythopoetics of female confessional poets, such as Adrienne Rich and Anne Sexton. Whilst Beginning With O also draws on the mythic and cultural paradigms offered by fairytales, the classical material lends an ancient authority in Broumas' attempts to rediscover a lost language of the feminine, perhaps inspired by the work of feminist theorists such as Cixous and Rich. Her desire to speak with a collective voice, representing womanhood unfettered by patriarchy, is perhaps epitomised by the collaborative work Sappho's Gymnasium , co-authored with T. Begley.


Poems with Classical referents

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