This volume, as an act of literary excavation, salvages and preserves a remarkable body of work from the selective erasures of history and culture. To read Laura Ulewicz now, a name unknown to most readers of poetry, is to actively expand the literary record, particularly the constellations around the Beats and Jack Gilbert, in whose early relationships Ulewicz found herself at the meteoric start to her career. Defying categories in writing and in action, Ulewicz was, is, one of our finest postwar American poets. She wrote and published poems throughout her life, but was most active during the 1950s through the 70s. It is astonishing that these poems have existed for so long, forgotten. Solicited for inclusion in Donald Allen’s landmark anthology, New American Poetry 1945-1960, and for a Penguin triptych alongside Denise Levertov and Sylvia Plath, Ulewicz’s site-specific attentions are as modern, as accomplished and free of periodicity as poetry gets. The book contains an informative preface by Ulewicz’s executor and the editor of this fine collection, Stephen Vincent, describing her extraordinary life and literary activities in rich detail.
Poetry. Women's Studies.
Laura Ulewicz was born in 1930, in Detroit, to Polish immigrants. After some time in Chicago and New York, Ulewicz moved to San Francisco, around 1950. Although she refused designation as a "Beat" poet, there she befriended several poets within the Beat scene. Around this time she also began a long-term relationship with Jack Gilbert, upon whose early work she exerted great influence. She would eventually leave the U.S., spending several years in literary circles in London and ultimately Jamaica, before returning to the Bay Area. By 1973, Ulewicz had settled permanently in Locke, California. Ulewicz passed in 2007, leaving behind a rich but forgotten poetic legacy.