Saturday, January 30, 2010

You know what is cool?

When people write about something they like. I love that. Elisa Gabbert has a cool post up about why she likes poems with "ideas." You should check it out. I'm going to try to write about why I like what I like in poems. It changes, and I often feel clumsy when I try to explain why I like something *so much* because the words -- especially in prose -- seem so slippery in comparison to the thing I like so much. But writing about why you like something is cool, and it is often more difficult than writing about why you don't like something.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You know who is smart? Barbara Jane Reyes.

Since I've been working two jobs, I haven't been as "active" blogging, poeming, editing/publishing, and I'm so amazed by and grateful for bloggers like Barbara who have been doing the blogging thing for YEARS now, and how they just continue to write thoughtful, considered posts day after day, week after week. They just put it out there -- for all us -- month after month. Some people love to snark and say that blogging is all narcissistic navel-gazing, but the kind of work that Barbara does on her blog is, like, the OPPOSITE. It's activism. It's a gift.

Do you Love Love?

The you should head over to kitchen table: women of color pressed for knowledge and get yourself a copy of the gorgeous book Alexis made.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gender & Poetry

Jessica Smith always has interesting things to say, and her recent post about women and publishing has sparked some discussion over at the Harriet blog. Craig Santos Perez (whose post "'Afro Picks,'" Publisher's Weekly, & the Racialized Pun" is a must-read) asks, "do you think women’s self-promotion in poetry differs from men’s self-promotion?" Here is what I posted in the comments:

The men who have established the professional standards that govern the world of poetry are by and large men who have benefited from many different kinds of unearned privilege, including the uncompensated labor of many women (domestic, secretarial, and creative). Therefore, the question should not be “how can women learn the skills that men seem naturally to possess (self-promotion)?” Those skills, upon closer inspection, reveal themselves to be not much more than plain, old-fashioned bourgeois entrepreneurialism that is rooted in inequality. I think it is good that men are asking what they should do vis-à-vis feminism, but I think the best way to begin is through careful scrutiny of their own practices. If one finds oneself with a creative project that does not include women, one should not conclude that it is the fault of women. Rather, one should ask “what’s wrong with this creative project in that it excludes women?”

Another thing that seems important to this discussion is time (see this article about sleep as a feminist issue). Who has time and who does not. Many women I know struggle to find the time to complete their own projects, and this lack of time surely has something to do with "self promotion." I talk more about time and gender and poetry in a post I have forthcoming over at delirious hem (where Jennifer Bartlett is asking some very important questions about gender, poetry, and disability; you should check out her blog too).

ETA: Craig's new post, with incisive, thoughtful comments from the rad Reb Livingston and the fab Danielle Pafunda

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

the pain economy

"On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your level of pain."
is this real?