Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2013

Women as Mythmakers: Brenda Shaughnessy's flying women in "Calling Her Home"

A Response to "Calling Her Home," Brenda Shaughnessy, Interior with Sudden Joy It's a familiar story. From the small room, the women go flying, the lost mothers, a brief selection:as when a little girlhow can I breathe!What song, devil, is best flying off, her mouth openinghaunting the black air. Each one, a benediction, a blood stain.

Some Presses I'm Ogling

Able Muse Ashland Poetry Press Bona Fide Books Brothel Books Carolina Wren CCM Evening Stree Press Folded Word Philistine Marsh Hawk Press Imaginary Friend Press Cold Line Medusa's Laugh Press MilSpeak Paris Press Exterminating Angle Press Canarium Mayapple Press Bargwrn Books A Midsummer's Night Press Matter Press Sibling Rivalry Press So to Speak Feminist Review Hireaeth Press Pleasure Boat Studio The Feminist Wire Convulsive Editions Crisis Chronicles Etched Press Wild Embers Koan Books Keyhole Press Kore Press Perugia Press Patasola Books Lumonox Press Liquid Lights Press Ugly Duckling

Woman Writer: Susan Rich

Some lovely poems by Susan Rich: "Cloud Pharmacy," "The Invention of Everything Else" Susan Rich What I most love about these poems is their complicated relationship with desire. Resistance and fascination tangle in these poems about female speakers and their desire for their male beloveds--and yet the discourse of romance isn't untroubled, easy, taken for granted. Instead there are complications, threats, perhaps even structural ones bigger than individuals: "an all-embracing/ ocean view" and "The pharmacist’s paper cone/ parsing out a quarter cup." Agency is complicated in these lyrics, and so, somehow, more accurate to the language of desire.

Poem on Poem Ekphrasis: Brian McHale's Feminist Reading of Berryman's Homage to Mistress Bradstreet

In Brian McHale's The Obligation toward the Difficult Whole: Postmodernist Long Poems, he starts his chapter on Susan Howe's The Europe of Trusts with a short introduction to the idea of silence of women and the canon, describing "Berryman's 'Homage' a kind of parable" of "the received version of literary historiography" in which women are silent or overwritten (205). McHale argues that Berryman's "poetic 'homage' to the precursor-poet consists in silencing her." (205)Anne Bradstreet , in "Upon a Fit of Sickness" writes, 'Bestow much cost there's nothing lost,/ to make salvation sure,/ O great's the gain, though got with pain, / comes by profession pure." In "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet", Berryman says as Bradstreet's persona "Hard and divided heaven! creases me. Shame /is failing. My breath is scented, and I throw / hostile glances towards God. " You might be wo…