Mina Loy Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Mina Loy experimented with a variety of literary forms. During her lifetime, she published poetry, plays, essays, pamphlets, and letters. Her most well-known short prose works appear in The Lost Lunar Baedeker; these include “Aphorisms on Futurism,” “Feminist Manifesto,” “Modern Poetry” and “Auto-Facial Construction.” Several plays were reprinted in the 1990’s, including The Pamperers (pb. 1920), Collision (pb. 1915), and CittàBapini (pb. 1915). A novel, Insel, was published posthumously in 1991. Other autobiographical prose works Loy wrote in the late 1920’s and 1930’s include “Goy Israel” and “Islands in the Air”; neither was completed, but sections of these manuscripts can be found in Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Beginning in 1980 with the publication of Virginia Kouidis’s critical study, Mina Loy: American Modernist Poet, Mina Loy has gradually been incorporated into the list of American modernists poets who transformed the genre in the early twentieth century. Loy is frequently cited in conjunction with other prominent modernist poets, such as William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound and H. D., and noted for her idiosyncratic linguistic style and progressive opinions on gender and sexuality. Her prominence in several avant-garde movements, including Futurism and Dadaism, illuminates the literary and social changes of the last century, contributing in particular to scholarly efforts to understand the feminist position in these artistic movements.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Burke, Carolyn. Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996. This full-length biography is a well-researched account of Loy’s complex life and relationships. Develops significant contexts for the aesthetic movements that affected Loy’s major works and includes detailed analyses of poems and prose.

Galvin, Mary E. Queer Poetics: Five Modernist Women Writers. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1999. Identifies five modernist writers—Loy, Amy Lowell, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, and H. D.—who challenged heterosexual norms and paved the way for contemporary queer poetics.

Goody, Alex. Modernist Articulations: A Cultural Study of Djuna Barnes, Mina Loy, and Gertrude Stein. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Places Loy, Barnes, and Stein at specific moments in modernism—key points in articulation—to examine their work and the literary culture in which they wrote.

Kinnahan, Linda. Poetics of the Feminine: Authority and Literary Tradition in William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, Denise Levertov, and Kathleen Fraser. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Identifies a modernist aesthetic tradition, epitomized in the works of Williams, Loy, Levertov, and Fraser, that challenged the traditional relationships between poetic authority and gender.

Kouidis, Virginia. Mina Loy: American Modernist Poet. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980. The first full-length critical study of Loy, this work focuses on the feminist and philosophical aspects of her early work in order to establish her position in the modernist movement.

Shreiber, Maeera, and Keith Tuma, eds. Mina Loy: Women and Poet. Orono, Maine: The National Poetry Foundation, 1998. Introduces the various critical lenses applied to Loy’s work and demonstrates the diversity of Loy scholarship. Includes sections devoted to Songs to Joannes, Anglo-Mongels and the Rose, as well as an incredibly detailed annotated bibliography.

Vetter, Lara Elizabeth. Modernist Writings and Religio-scientific Discourse: H. D., Loy, and Toomer. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Examines spirituality and science in the writings of modernists H. D., Loy, and Jean Toomer.