Biography Vol. 39 No. 1 (2016)

Biography vol. 39 no. 1 is a special issue dedicated to verse in life writing. The issue opens with guest editor Anna Jackson’s introduction:

Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura), by Artemisia Gentileschi. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2016.
Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura), by Artemisia Gentileschi. From Articulating Artemisia by Helen Rickerby in this issue.

While the verse novel is now established as a literary genre, the verse biography has not been similarly acknowledged, even though many of the formal tensions and strategies are similar. Recognizing that the work of “life writing” that such texts perform, and the relationship between historical fact and poetic representation that they negotiate, are distinct to the verse biography, this Special Issue opens up the genre as a field of study, within the context of biography and life writing studies more generally.

Featured articles include:

  • Experiments in Poetic Biography: Feminist in Contemporary Long Form Poetry by Jessica Wilkinson
  • Articulating Artemisia: Revisioning the Lives of Women from History in Biographical Poetry by Helen Rickerby
  • Storying the Portrait: The Case of Mae West by Erin Scudder
  • The Master and the Mask: Francis Webb’s Verse Biography by Toby Davidson
  • “Talk (why?) with mute ash”: Anne Carson’s Nox as Therapeutic Biography by Joan Fleming
  • “Automythography” in Poetry: Tusiata Avia’s Bloodclot by Airini Beautrais
  • Hii-Stories and Haa-Stories: Polynesian Poetics as Collective Biography by Robert Sullivan

Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE

About the Journal

For over thirty years, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly has explored the theoretical, generic, historical, and cultural dimensions of life-writing.


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