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Gurl Power in Ms. magazine

By Harriet Staff

Ms. Magazine posted a short and positive review of the Gurlesque Anthology, edited by Lara Glenum and Arielle Greenberg. The book is not simply a collection of poems by women, but attempts to represent a new tendency of certain writers to “assault the norms of acceptable female behavior by deploying gender stereotypes to subversive ends.” It’s a smart project, and Ms. knows it:

Using parody, kitschy imagery and explosive visuals, these poems interrogate notions of femininity, the body and sexuality. Examining everything from Hello Kitty culture to what happens in our bedrooms, they devilishly expose the complex interior space inhabited by women today, showing the inextricable relationship between constructed femininity and feminism. All the while, the writers poke fun at girly commodity culture by embracing both the glittery and glum aspects of our everyday lives.

But for some reason, perhaps simply a matter of marketing, Ms. felt the need to frame the anthology in terms of accessibility:

Quite refreshingly, the poems are not opaque, offering the possibility that dynamic poetry can be enjoyed by the masses. The collection taps into the feminine zeitgeist in laywoman’s terms, thereby targeting both lovers of poetry and those who only grow anxious in its presence. And while these writers are undoubtedly informed by a multitude of highly academic discourses, each piece is approachable–or, what Chelsey Minnis calls in one of her pieces in the book, “A poem that doesn’t have any intellectual filler in it.”

Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 by Harriet Staff.