Finch Annie Ridley Crane

(1956- ) Annie Finch is important to several traditions of writing outside MODERNIST free verse and its descendants (see prosody and free verse), and she is often associated with NEW FORMALISM and women's poetry (see female voice, female language). Her formal verse emphasizes direct, unmediated relationships between a poetic self and the world over the complex and ambivalent attitudes toward knowledge, self, and language favored in much contemporary poetry. Poems about seasonal events, life cycles, relationships, and the interpenetration of the natural and the cosmic draw upon the often overlooked tradition of American women poets, including Emily Dickinson, Sara TEAS-DALE, and Carolyn KIZER.

Born in New Rochelle, New York, Finch earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.FA. from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in English from Stanford. She has published two books of poetry, Eve (1997) and Calendars (2002), as well as critical studies, including The Ghost of Meter: Culture and Prosody in American Free Verse (1993), An Exaltation of Forms (2002, with Kathrine Varnes), and New Formal Poets (2003, with Susan Schultz). The founder and moderator of WOM-PO, a national internet listserv on women's poetry, Finch once remarked that her scholarship is motivated by her need to create a critical context for women's poetry (135). She has taught at Miami University in Ohio.

Finch's poetry combines her interests in the feminine and in form. For example, in Eve, poems such as "Running in Church," use an array of poetic forms, from chants to triple meters in order to invoke patterns and traditions of female power. Here the lines, "You made the long corridors ring, tintinnabular / echoes exploring the pounded cold floor," employ dactylic rhythms to emphasize a free feminine presence within the church's patriarchic, constrained

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