This first collection of original essays devoted to the poet's work puts many of the best scholars on Sigourney together in one place and in conversation with one another. The volume includes critical essays examining her literary texts as well as essays that unpack Sigourney's participation in the cultural movements of her day. Holding powerful opinions about the role of women in society, Sigourney was not afraid to advocate against government policies that, in her view, undermined the promise of America, even as she was held up as a paragon of American womanhood and middle-class rectitude. The resulting portrait promises to engage readers who wish to know more about Sigourney's writing, her career, and the causes that inspired her.
Along with the volume editors, contributors include Ann Beebe, Paula Bernat Bennett, Janet Dean, Sean Epstein-Corbin, Annie Finch, Gary Kelly, Paul Lauter, Amy J. Lueck, Ricardo Miguel-Alfonso, Jennifer Putzi, Angela Sorby, Joan Wry, and Sandra Zagarell.
"Without question, this new collection makes an immense scholarly contribution to such fields as nineteenth-century American literature, women writers, poetry, and women poets."—Claudia Stokes, author of Writers in Retrospect: The Rise of American Literary History, 1875–1910
"Lydia Sigourney fills a gaping hole in the field of nineteenth-century American literature and serves both to consolidate and invigorate scholarship on this major poet. In short, this volume is long overdue."—Augusta Rohrbach, author of Thinking Outside the Book
"This collection therefore marks not just a new direction in Sigourney scholarship, but a generational shift in the field . . . The essays here reveal a writer who is more aesthetically versatile and socially relevant than either she or her toughest critics have acknowledged."—American Literary History
"The fruitful critical and cultural work done here. . . extend[s] Sigourney studies beyond recovery to reconsideration."—Early American Literature
"This book is as necessary as it claims to be. The essays contribute to the ongoing reevaluation of Lydia Sigourney in ways that nothing else has. It is also interesting. Every essay has some compelling information, ideas, and/or questions."—Legacy: Journal of American Women Writers