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Mina Loy Biography

(1882–1966), Camera Work, Lunar Baedeker, Lunar Baedeker and Time-Tables, Last Lunar Baedeker

British/American poet, artist, and polemicist, born Mina Gertrude Lowy in London. She was an artist before she began to write and changed her surname to Loy in 1903. Loy published her first piece of modernist writing, ‘Aphorisms on Futurism’, in Camera Work journal (1914). Her plays and manifestos (including her important ‘Feminist Manifesto’) are significant for their formal experimentation and their dialogue with Futurism, a movement rarely associated with women. These, and her avant-garde poetry and drawings, were published in the experimental little magazines. Her poetry was highly regarded by, among others, William Carlos Williams and Loy's close friends Djuna Barnes and Gertrude Stein. The only collections of poetry to appear in her lifetime were Lunar Baedeker (1923) and Lunar Baedeker and Time-Tables (1958). Of particular interest are her ‘Love Songs’; her satires, which were greatly admired by Yvor Winters; and her longest poem, the difficult ‘Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose’. Her collected works appeared as Last Lunar Baedeker, edited by Roger L. Conover, in 1982.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Earl Lovelace Biography to Madmen and Specialists