Poetry News

Remembering Ulla Dydo

By Harriet Staff
Gertrude Stein, A Stein Reader, cover

Published yesterday at Jacket2 is Charles Bernstein's remembrance of Gertrude Stein scholar Ulla Dydo, who died in September of last year. If by chance you've spent any time reading Stein, and if you're reading this blog of course you have!, you most likely have come across Dydo's essential A Stein Reader. Bernstein spends time looking at Dydo's early life, her education and teaching assignments in New York, as well as her scholarship on poetry in Nigeria, and then turns to her work on Stein. From there:

By the late 1970s, Dydo’s focus turned to Gertrude Stein, whose work would be at the center of her research and writing for the rest of her life. She worked closely with Bill Rice and Edward Burns. She offered support and advice to many young Stein scholars. In 1993, she published A Stein Reader, the best introduction to Stein works, notable both for the selections and the illuminating headnotes. Because of Dydo’s extensive research on the Stein papers at the Beinicke (Yale), she was able to provide detailed textual scholarship about individual Stein works. This kind of textual and contextual framing had not previously been available. All this culminated in Dydo’s major work, Gertrude Stein: The Language that Rises 1923–1934, which was published in 1996.

In the 1980s and after, Dydo frequently went to downtown poetry readings, dance, theater, and music events and she was a generous supporter of related arts organizations. Her later work also turned to the poetry of Cecil Taylor.

Dydo’s work transformed Stein scholarship and brought her the affection and admiration of the many scholars engaged with Stein. 

Continue to Jacket2 to review a partial list of Dydo's publications.

Originally Published: January 2nd, 2018