From the dagger mistress Ezili Je Wouj and the gender-bending mermaid Lasiren to the beautiful femme queen Ezili Freda, the Ezili pantheon of Vodoun spirits represents the divine forces of love, sexuality, prosperity, pleasure, maternity, creativity, and fertility. And just as Ezili appears in different guises and characters, so too does Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley in her voice- and genre-shifting, exploratory book Ezili's Mirrors. Drawing on her background as a literary critic as well as her quest to learn the lessons of her spiritual ancestors, Tinsley theorizes black Atlantic sexuality by tracing how contemporary queer Caribbean and African American writers and performers evoke Ezili. Tinsley shows how Ezili is manifest in the work and personal lives of singers Whitney Houston and Azealia Banks, novelists Nalo Hopkinson and Ana Lara, performers MilDred Gerestant and Sharon Bridgforth, and filmmakers Anne Lescot and Laurence Magloire—none of whom identify as Vodou practitioners. In so doing, Tinsley offers a model of queer black feminist theory that creates new possibilities for decolonizing queer studies.
Ezra Pound met Margaret Cravens in Paris in 1910 during one of his most creative and formative periods. Margaret Cravens, of Madison, Indiana, had come to Paris several years earlier to study piano and was drawn to the young Pound out of a shared interest in poetry and the arts. Their friendship began when she offered Pound generous financial support, which continued, unknown to anyone else, until June 1912, when she committed suicide in Paris, one year after her father's suicide in Indiana. Pound was deeply affected by her death, as was the poet H. D., who had recently come to know her. Pound's letters to Cravens, extensively annotated, are published here for the first time; her suicide note to him is also included. Ezra Pound and Margaret Cravens contains photographs and previously unpublished material by Pound and H.D., as well as an excerpt from H.D.'s autobiographical novel Asphodel, in which Cravens figures prominently. This portrait of a friendship provides insight into the literary achievements of Pound and H.D. and tells the unknown story of Margaret Cravens's tragic life.
For more than a decade scholars have understood that Ezra Pound employed mystical concepts of love in his writing of The Cantos. In Ezra Pound and the Mysteries of Love, Akiko Miyake furthers this understanding by looking at The Cantos as a major work in the Christian mystic religious tradition. The author uncovers, in the five volumes of Gabriel Dante Rossetti’s Il mistero dell’amor platonico del medio evo, the crucial link between The Cantos and the traditions of mystical love established by the ancient Greeks at Eleusis and borrowed by the late medieval Italian and Provençal poets. Drawing upon this key five-volume work, as well as comprehensive research in both primary and secondary sources, Miyake brings the partial perceptions of other critics and commentators into an illuminating whole. Disclosing the deliberateness of The Cantos, Miyake provides new insight into Pound’s sense of culture and into the nature of his Confucianism. She sheds light on the disastrous path Pound followed into Fascism and anti-Semitism, and, in contrast to the image of a “pagan” Pound that has emerged in recent years, reveals a poet writing as a Christian from within the Christian mythical tradition.