Lynn Lonidier’s poetry is ripe for a new generation of readers.
“Between Sappho’s poetry
and a Mary Wollstonecraft novel
love remained quiet between women
two thousand four hundred years.”
FIRE-RIMMED EDEN: SELECTED POEMS gathers poems from Lynn Lonidier’s Rich and varied collections. Lonidier published five poetry collections Po Tree (1967), The Female Freeway (1970), A Lesbian Estate (1977), Woman Explorer (1979), Clitoris Lost: A Woman’s Version of the Creation Myth (1989), and a posthumous book, The Rhyme of the Ag-ed Mariness (2001). Her poetry links multiple poetic constellations of the 1970s and 1980s demonstrating linguistic innovations and radical reconfigurations sexuality and gender.
The poems of FIRE-RIMMED EDEN are in conversation with narrative impulses from the feminist and lesbian poetry movements of the 1970s and 1980s, including work by Judy Grahn, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and others, as well as experimental poetic impulses from the same period found in work by Robert Duncan (Duncan’s partner Jess gave the cover art for A Lesbian Estate), Lyn Hejinian, Carla Harryman, and Etel Adnan. Some of Lonidier’s work is concrete in the spirit of May Swenson’s Iconographs while other poems are performative like Bay area poets Pat Parker and Jerome Rothenberg.
Previously completely out of print, Lonidier’s poetry is ripe for a new generation of readers. FIRE-RIMMED EDEN assembles a robust selection of Lonidier’s work introduced by Sinister Wisdom editor and publisher Julie R. Enszer. Rich and diverse, visually and aurally exciting, boldly experimental and intellectually provocative, Lonidier’s poetry is imbued with wit, humor, originality, and play.
Poetry. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
”In editing and introducing FIRE-RIMMED EDEN, a representative swath of the life work in poetry of Lynn Lonidier, Julie Enszer has brilliantly maneuvered to reveal a much-needed, long-awaited Lesbian epic, an always already ancient, dream-inducing monument built of language upon Lonidier’s own not yet released Lesbian bones, to stand precisely in the gaping silence of the 2,400 long years between Sappho and Wollstonecraft. This monument is capacious; contains all the missed markings of Lesbian story, event, labor, catastrophe, sex (cunt hairs caught in teeth), political fights, romantic tragedies, betrayals, banalities, language invention, cataclysm, dirge, word births, gender inversions, iconography, advances and reversals, revenge, correction, dream, accident, obsession, abandonments, pleasures, play, fails, stupidities, songs (and love songs), genius, drunkenness and LOVE. This collection is gasp-inducing, mind-blowing, vast, miraculous, funny and free. A rare, revelatory, gorgeously heartbreaking read.” —Rachel Levitsky
”Lynn Lonidier remains—for me, for us—one of that company of poets who has shaped an image-of-the-world we now can recognize as true and in ways we hadn't know before she showed them to us.” —Jerome Rothenberg
”Lynn Lonidier's work makes me laugh and then surprises me with revelation in the same line. Lonidier's writing is a direct invitation to play, to activate, to catalyze. Join in, enter this clubhouse of the spirit. Be seen, be whirled, be.” —K Shuck
”Strength, courage, humour and magical word weaving are long-time characteristics of Iwan Lonidier's poetry. This remarkable book brings together her writings to keep the mystery of her genius with us.” —Pauline Oliveros
”Where is she-ee: that's Lynn Lonidier in an early poem, calling out to writers forgotten and imagined, evoking new feminist genealogies. With this crucial new volume of Lonidier's selected poems, editor Julie R. Enszer has done the same. FIRE-RIMMED EDEN brings back into circulation a poet, teacher, and performer whose work complicates literary histories, especially in the Bay Area. Lonidier is essential reading for all those interested in the places where formal innovation, lesbian-feminist poetry, and radical gay publishing intersect.” —Stephanie Young
Author @ Publisher Site
Lynn Lonidier (1937-1993) was a poet, writer, teacher, multimedia and theater performance artist, and political activist who often described herself as "a card-carrying anarchafeminist." She lived in the San Francisco Bay area.
Julie R. Enszer is the editor and publisher of Sinister Wisdom.