More famous while alive for her outlandish personality and the artistic salon she hosted in Paris than for her writing, Gertrude Stein is now regarded as one of modern literature’s most influential experimentalists. (Ironically, her best-known book, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), is her most traditional.) Among the innovations she hoped would refresh language and draw attention to its potential as music are the multiple repetition with slight variations of short, seemingly nonsensical sentences and the generation of meaning from mosaics of suggestive imagery.
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"I was surprised that I was able to select poems that are so out of my usual spoken word preference. The Poetry Out Loud website has hundreds of poems that I have never seen before, and the fact that I found 3 and was able to make it so far with them is amazing to me. I guess I learned that stepping outside of the box is okay!"