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Olga Broumas Biography

(1949– ), Beginning with O, Sole Sauvage, Pastoral Jazz, What I Love, The Little Mariner, Perpetua

elytis black influence poems

American poet, born in Syros, Greece, educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Oregon. Her collection Beginning with O (1977) won the Yale University Younger Poets Award and received praise from Stanley Kunitz for its ‘explicit sexuality and Sapphic orientation’. The poems in Sole Sauvage (1979) and Pastoral Jazz (1983) focus on images and language reflecting experience from a woman's viewpoint. Two translations of poetry by the Greek Nobel Laureate, Odysseas Elytis, What I Love (1986) and The Little Mariner (1988), illustrate the influence and recurring use of ancient Greek poetic forms in her poetry. In Perpetua (1989) the poems have a narrative structure, contemplating the poet's relationships with family, friends, and lovers. Broumas collaborated with Jane Miller in Black Holes, Black Stockings (1985), and with T. Begley in Sappho's Gymnasium (1994) which shows the influence of Sappho and Elytis. Broumas is intent on delineating a specifically lesbian language which encompasses the physical and emotional intensities of love and desire between women.

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