The Delirious Hem strikes again! : ) Which is to say, the blog space devoted to experimental / avant-garde / innovative women's poetry (its name comes from a brief phrase in an Emily Dickinson poem) has mounted another fabulous forum that you may want to check out. I'm still reading around in it myself, but wanted to go ahead and share the link with readers here. The forum curator, Danielle Pafunda, asked participants to respond to the following call:
"This is What a Feminist [Poet] Looks Like: what branch of feminism, model of feminist poetics, feminist icon, or etc. informs your poetry? Or, from which of these does your poetry diverge? Are there particular feminist tactics you employ? Do you consider yourself a feminist in many ways, but don't particularly involve it in the poetry? Feel free to take liberties with the questions! Short, long, essay, manifesto, whatever appeals to you!"
Check out what 16 women poets had to say in response. You'll also find links to responses to the forum posted on other blogs around the 'sphere. Lots to think about here -- agree or disagree. You may want to post a response of your own! Comment here, comment at the Hem, blog about it in your own space . . .
Here are three passages (I've forced myself to stick to this limit, to keep from excerpting everything!) that I found particularly thought-provoking:
- "Women and all oppressed peoples know we’ve learned to speak in many registers just to get along. The languages my sisters and I created as girls, academic and theoretical terminology, the riffing and wandering intimacies of friends, the professional veneer (friendly but not too friendly), the tearing down of artifice that a partner demands (which can also be the understanding of the uses of artifice)—all of these languages and registers, and many others, enter my poems. For me, writing as a feminist doesn’t mean resuscitating the lost feminine voices of myths, or discovering my essentially feminine voice: it means recognizing how women code-switch, and enacting the powers of those switches, or bucking their constraints. I feel various, and I want my poems to know motley pleasures, too." -- Becca Klaver
- "I could say I am a feminist poet because I write for one reason: the landlords insisted we had heat when the tenants knew we were freezing. It was sixteen degrees, and we tried everything to get warm like burning the signs the landlords had written for us: 'the heat is on.'” -- Anne Boyer
- "Once born, children here in the U.S.A. are routinely denied their full human rights and dignity, and instead taught painful lessons in tyranny, destruction, stupid and wrong-headed authority and conformity, fake intellectual standards, weird ways of (de)valuing their own and others existence, racism, sexism, classism, consumerism, institutionalized boredom and restriction. It is a sickening treachery." -- Elizabeth Treadwell
I hope visitors to Delirious Hem will stumble onto (or reencounter) a poet whose statement on (feminist) poetics draws you to check out her poetry, too. Serendipity, and all that! Enjoy!