The Muse of the Violets. Poems by Renée Vivien
Bates City, MO: The Naiad Press Inc., 1977. 1st US Edition. Octavo, publisher’s stiff illustrated paper wraps.
Collection by francophone British lesbian poet Renée Vivien published by Naiad Press, the first publishing company dedicated to lesbian literature.Writing in a rigid French verse form (including sonnets, hendecasyllabic verse, and prose poetry), Vivien was virtually unknown in the US prior to Naiad’s translations of her works into English. Comprising eighteen poems inspired largely her tempestuous relationship with fellow lesbian poet Natalie Barney, as well as her unrequited passion for her childhood friend, Violet Shillito, who would remain a fixture in her work until her premature death at the age of 32. Founded by Barbara Grier, Naiad’s focus was preserving out-of-print lesbian classics and publishing the work of iconic lesbian feminist writers. Translated by Margaret Porter and Catherine Kroger, with an introduction by French writer Louise Faure-Favier, excerpted from her biography of Vivien. Cover illustration by Tee Corrine, known for her erotic lesbian photos and portraits (and as a Naiad regular); with a black-and-white photo of Vivien. Owner signature to front blank. Light soiling to wraps, else fine. Item #6850