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English professor publishes book on poets

April 23, 2003

Nelljean Rice, a Coastal Carolina University professor and co-director of the Womens Studies Program, has written a new book, A New Matrix for Modernism: A Study of the Lives and Poetry of Charlotte Mew and Anna Wickham.

Published by Routledge Press, which specializes in literary theory and womens studies, the book is a story of the lives and poetry of two forgotten British writers who lived in the early 20th century. The women were as accomplished as their contemporaries, literary giants such as Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, but their work was not as publicized or memoralized, according to Rice.

I had read [the poetry of] these women in the early 70s and couldnt get them out of my mind, said Rice, adding that the topic combined her two areas of expertise British literature and womens studies.

These women were really feted when they were alive, but after they died, no one even remembered them, said Rice, adding that their lives were full of soap opera-like drama. I wrote about their poetry and their lives and their place in the poetry scene in London. I try to bring the theory in, but its written in such a way that an interested lay person could enjoy it.

In February, Rice was awarded a Sasakawa Fellowship from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which will support her participation in the National Faculty Development Institute on Incorporating Japanese Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum, scheduled to be held at San Diego State University from June 2 to 27. She was born in China and lived in Asia when she was growing up, and is a member of Coastals Japanese Task Force.

A poet herself, Rice is married to English professor and poet Paul Rice. They have two grown children, son Jesse, 24, a singer/songwriter in Nashville, and Emily, 21, a senior at Davidson College.