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Pig Cupid’s Rosy Snout

Jane Eldridge Miller, 19 June 1997

Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy 
by Carolyn Burke.
Farrar, Straus, 494 pp., $35, July 1996, 0 374 10964 8
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The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems 
by Mina Loy, selected and edited by Roger Conover.
Farrar, Straus, 236 pp., $22, July 1996, 0 314 25872 8
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... autobiographies and biographies of those who were central to the development of Modernism, Mina Loy turns up with a Zelig-like ubiquity. She studied art in Munich at the same time as Kandinsky and Klee. Her paintings were exhibited in the 1905 Salon d’Automne in which the first Fauvist works were shown. While living in Florence, she became ...

The wind comes up out of nowhere

Charles Nicholl: The Disappearance of Arthur Cravan, 9 March 2006

... was extremely combative – confrontation and ‘anti-art’ polemic were his métier. As the poet Mina Loy, who was briefly his wife, put it, ‘The instinct of “knock-out” dominated his critique.’ One of my favourite Cravan pronouncements is the contemptuous dismissal, ‘Toute la littérature, c’est: ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta.’ One might ...

Little Do We Know

Mark Ford, 12 January 1995

The Annals of Chile 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 191 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 0 571 17205 9
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... boxer-poet Arthur Cravan who mysteriously disappeared in Mexico in 1918 soon after his marriage to Mina Loy. (Why, though, does he confound her with the actress Myrna Loy? Some impish joke I must be missing ...) The images of Muldoon’s parents inspired by the yarrow sprig are similarly fixed: For the ...
Shelf Life: Essays, Memoirs and an Interview 
by Thom Gunn.
Faber, 230 pp., £14.99, July 1994, 0 571 17196 6
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... essays on Williams, Snyder and Robert Duncan, and in Shelf Life on Whitman, H.D., Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg and two essays on Robert Duncan. He reprints his review of Helen Vendler’s book of contemporary poetry (published by Harvard in the US and by Faber in Britain), ‘an obviously worthless book’, for him, because it ...

Operation Columba

Jon Day: Pigeon Intelligence, 4 April 2019

Secret Pigeon Service 
by Gordon Corera.
William Collins, 326 pp., £20, February 2018, 978 0 00 822030 3
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... crest of a wave. When not mangled or amputated by wire and string, their feet – which the poet Mina Loy described as their ‘coral landing gear’ – are strong, elegant and reptilian. They can see far further and with greater clarity than we can. In the 1970s and 1980s, the US Coastguard trained pigeons to recognise people lost at sea as part of ...

Their Mad Gallopade

Patrick McGuinness: Nancy Cunard, 25 January 2018

Selected Poems 
by Nancy Cunard.
Carcanet, 304 pp., £12.99, October 2016, 978 1 78410 236 4
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... poem. Cunard doesn’t have Mirrlees’s originality of vision (or indeed that of her friend Mina Loy), but one of the characteristics of her work is its honesty, its lack of literary guile. This quality of Cunard’s becomes increasingly clear in her later work, and notably in the poetry of the late 1930s and 1940s. Two months before she died in ...

Chicory and Daisies

Stephanie Burt: William Carlos Williams, 7 March 2002

Collected Poems: Volume I 
by William Carlos Williams, edited by A. Walton Litz and Christopher MacGowan.
Carcanet, 579 pp., £12.95, December 2000, 1 85754 522 2
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Collected Poems: Volume II 
by William Carlos Williams, edited by A. Walton Litz and Christopher MacGowan.
Carcanet, 553 pp., £12.95, December 2000, 1 85754 523 0
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... art, he began to form his poetic style during the 1910s; soon he was mixing with Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Alfred Kreymborg, Alfred Stieglitz and other Modernist artists and writers in Manhattan. His local practice thrived (he later specialised in paediatrics), but still he found time during the next few decades to produce a vast body of ...

Daisy Chains

Emma Hogan: Sappho 1900, 20 May 2021

No Modernism without Lesbians 
by Diana Souhami.
Head of Zeus, 464 pp., £9.99, February, 978 1 78669 487 4
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... novel.) Bryher financially supported her lover H.D. and her husband Robert McAlmon, who published Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes and Ernest Hemingway. There is also the suggestion, never quite substantiated by Souhami, that the way these women lived, their promiscuity and outsized influence, could itself be considered uniquely modern, that this was the age of ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe, 27 September 2012

All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... OK: not with them; but what about Djuna Barnes or Janet Flanner? Carrington or Eileen Gray? Mina Loy or Martha Graham? The activity of juxtaposition and judgment, once initiated, may well be ever renewing and unlikely to lead to any final rankings. But something will be clarified over time; some intellectual or aesthetic ground gained; some deeper ...

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