Saturday, September 13, 2008

Workshop: Reading Poetry at a Slant

I attended this workshop and will only report briefly on it for selfish reasons. I found the first presentation so compelling that I want to save some of my writing for further research and thinking on my own. Still, I feel compelled to share a bit.

Kathryn Flannery, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, presented on Lynn Lonidier, a lesbian poet who published in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. (Now if you know me, or are coming to know me, this is my passion, my reason for being, my hopeful dissertation!!! So you can only imagine my glee.) Lonidier was called by Ron Silliman “the first true avant garde lesbian poet since Gertrude Stein.” In a review of one of her books, Jill Johnston said that she was the “reincarnation of Emily Dickinson. Wow, wow, wow! Flannery did a compelling analysis of one of her chapbooks that was exciting and will lead me to the archives and library to research more about her.

Also in this session, Julie Marie Wade presented. Julie is a great poet and delivered a lovely and lyrical paper.

Stacey Waite also presented on the topic of queer pedagogy as it relates to writing pedagogy. Her work was compelling and important, too. My co-conspirator in the conference, Sally, found it inspiring about how to teach writing. I pressed Stacey on using androgyny as the tool to break the gender binary, but I’m a curmudgeon and am thinking obsessively about race, so that was on my mind more than gender. In addition to clearly being a great teacher and an important scholar in queer studies, Stacey is a phenomenal poet. She has two chapbooks out and won the Tupelo Press Snowbound Prize for her newest chapbook which will be out in 2010. Meanwhile, we’re all just waiting breathlessly for her to win a first book prize so that we can hold her first book in our hot hands.

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