Sunday, February 17, 2008

Reading while sick

For the past four weeks, I’ve felt like a cheap hooker - every bug that has come through town has taken up residence in my body. Finally, last Monday, exhausted, hacking up mucus, throat sore, and menstruating, I just stayed in bed. All day. And most of Tuesday, too. I’m happy to report, I started doing better by Wednesday, but it wasn’t until today that I really felt better and like I wanted to tackle tasks. (Depending on how well you know me, this may not have any meaning. In a nut shell, though, my day is driven by a task list on a note card. I like to get everything done on the task list, or at least something done on each task. Last week was pretty much a bust, but now I’m back.)

What I did do last week, however, was read. I’m embroiled in Barbara Guest’s biography of H.D., which is divine, and I’m loving Rebecca Patterson’s biography of Emily Dickinson in which in 1950, she outs the lesbian love affairs of Emily. It’s fantastic to read it and see how lesbianism is written and understood by Patterson. This book was reviewed by my sourpuss mentor, Elizabeth Bishop, (who is haunting my dreams and my writing in the most fierce and vicious way, the positive thing being she makes me want to regularly have a drink with her) in The New Republic and EB was, shall we say, unkind.

I’m also reading through a stack of poetry books (Julene Tripp Weaver, Lola Ridge, Judith Johnson, among others) and today resumed my reviewing work. I’ve taken a break for the past six weeks and am happy to return, especially since I’m writing an article on the importance of women writing reviews of books by women. I’m a believer in practicing what one preaches.

Finally, it was thrilling to be at Creating Change last weekend (even through the haze of illness). I did a great panel with the incomparable Merry Gangemi and Joe Bailey and saw good, dear friends and reconnected with Curtis Lipscomb of Kick, which was a real treat for me.

So sick hasn’t been all bad, but I’m quite glad to be feeling better.


Eshuneutics said...

Yes, the HD biography is very fine: HD still gets overlooked. Glad you enjoyed Outside the Lines and you are right: why not a book on poets descended from Sappho--what a challege that would be.

Julie R. Enszer said...

I can't resist asking, who would you include?

Thanks for the comments!