/ edited by Estíbaliz Encarnación-Pinedo and Thomas Antonic
Berlin : De Gruyter, 2021
(= American Frictions ; 3)
ruth weiss, born in Berlin in 1928 to Austrian-Jewish parents, arrived in San Francisco in 1952 after hitchhiking through the United States. Crowned years later as the “Goddess of the Beat Generation” by San Francisco Chronicle critic Herb Caen, weiss has worked for almost seven decades with a plurality of artistic forms. Despite her extensive poetry career and very active participation in the West Coast buzzing artistic community since the early 1950s, weiss has remained an essentially overlooked figure in poetry history. This neglect might be representative of the overshadowing of female artists within the Beat Generation as “a marginalized group within an always already marginalized bohemia” (Johnson). The volume taps directly into this lacuna by proving the first close study on one of the most prolific members of the so-called Beat Generation. Offering diverse and comprehensive points of entrance into weiss’s oeuvre, the essays in this volume adopt a multidisciplinary approach that attests to the cross-pollination between art forms in postwar counterculture. In addition, the volume also includes shorter, non-academic contributions and previously unpublished archival material. Bringing together scholars, academics and artists from around the world, this volume represents a timely and much-needed response to the increasing interest in weiss’s work in the last decades.