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Feminist Poetics Issue of Evening Will Come

By Harriet Staff

Denver poet Sara Renee Marshall has tightly edited a “Feminist Issue” of the online go-to Evening Will Come, and it features some good’uns, including “25 Tiny Essays on the Value of Forgetfulness and Sleepiness” by Dawn Lundy Martin and an interview with Lisa Robertson by Julie Carr. One of the most compelling parts of the issue might be the introduction from Marshall herself. A bit from that:

So, what is a feminist poetics? In a recent conversation with poet Julie Carr we talked about writing as an instrument of wandering. For the feminist, that writing, that wandering is an exercise of and toward freedom. That freedom makes it possible to reclaim, defend, demand and hope for that which we have traditionally, institutionally or privately been barred from. This is feminist. To ask questions as a way to crack open discourse or to call others to account. This is feminist. To write—and so substantiate—the inhibited female body with its true functions, its gore, its strength, its limits, its lust. That’s feminist. To gather the chorus of our forebears into our writing. That’s feminist. To write in order to constitute a place for our meaning to be seen, really seen. That’s feminist. To build passable bridges between multiple possibilities. That’s feminist. To point to the rigidity and absolutism of patriarchal language and frames, and then blur contingencies. That’s feminist.

We—engaged readers and writers—likely know by now why it’s critical for women to write and why it’s critical for us to listen to them. For millennia women have been shouldered out, written over, ignored, made invisible to institutions, shamed, called filthy, blamed, abused, intimidated, killed. Cixous told us in 1986,

“Woman must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies—for the same reasons, by the same law, with the same fatal goal. Woman must put herself into the text—as into the world and into story—by her own movement.”

Read it all here.

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Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 by Harriet Staff.