Linda Leavell's Holding On Upside Down—the first biography of this major American poet written with the support of the Moore estate—delves beneath the surface of this calcified image to reveal a passionate, canny woman caught between genuine devotion to her mother and an irrepressible desire for personal autonomy and freedom. Her many poems about survival are not just quirky nature studies but acts of survival themselves.
Not only did the young poet join the Greenwich Village artists and writers who wanted to overthrow all her mother's pieties but she also won their admiration for the radical originality of her language and the technical proficiency of her verse. After her mother's death thirty years later, the aging recluse transformed herself, against all expectations, into a charismatic performer and beloved celebrity. She won virtually every literary prize available to her and was widely hailed as America's greatest living poet.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013. ISBN: 9780374534943. 455 pp.Softcover. Near fine.
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