Reading Sappho considers Sappho's poetry as a powerful, influential voice in the Western cultural tradition. Essays are divided into four sections: "Language and Literary Context," "Homer and Oral Tradition", "Ritual and Social Context", and "Women's Erotics". Contributors focus on literary history, mythic traditions, cultural studies, performance studies, recent work in feminist theory, and more.
A legendary literary figure, Sappho has attracted readers, critics, and biographers ever since she composed poems on the island of Lesbos at the close of the seventh century B.C. Bringing together some of the best recent criticism on the subject, this volume, together with Re-Reading Sappho, represents the first anthology of Sappho scholarship, drawing attention to Sappho's importance as a poet and reflecting the diversity of critical approaches in classical and literary scholarship during the last several decades.