Monday, December 31, 2007

Joan Larkin Video

A great video is available at the Tyger Burning blog of Joan Larkin reading her crown of sonnets titled, Blackout. What I love about this video, besides hearing Larkin read, is how the camer moves around. It feels like a technologically old video and that for me makes the pleasure that much greater that it has been captured and made available on the internet. I’m appreciative of that as I don’t want our words and images to be lost.

Joan Larkin with Elly Bulkin edited Amazon Poetry and Lesbian Poetry, two books I continue to be obsessed with because of how they represent a particular moment in lesbian poetry and publishing. Larkin was, as she mentions at the beginning of the video, the publisher of Out & Out Books for about five years. The reading of the sonnet is fabulous, though the end is cut off. Larkin’s newest collection of poetry is My Body: New and Selected Poems. I reviewed it in the Lambda Book Report in the summer 2007 issue. It’s a good book and well worth your time to read.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Are you part of the VULVAlution?

Find out on January 1st!

The Complete CIVILesbianIZATION

Shortly the full series of articles in my CIVILesbianIZATION series will be available online at my CIVILesbianIZATION blog over at WOW Women’s World. Beginning in January 2008, I’ll post the bi-weekly updates there, so please add the site to your blog reader or make a note to check in there. I’ll post occasional updates about the series on this blog as well.

I’d love to hear what you think about CIVILesbianIZATION either here or over at the WOW Blog!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Grace Paley on Sisters

A terrible thing happened this year. Well, a good and a terrible thing, as the two seem to be often wound together. From December 1st until December 15th, I was in the end of the semester, paper-writing, holiday preparations mode. It was intense and one of the things I limited is what I was doing on my computer. (You’ll notice - no blog entries from late November until December 25th). In the process of limiting my email time and my calendar time (I will play for hours with organizational tools, like ical, as a way to avoid doing actual work), I realized that I forgot, yes, FORGOT, my sister’s yartzeit. It was a day that was dedicated entirely to writing the paper. It’s the first year I’ve completely forgotten it. Usually, I have some sense of dread and then find solace in the candle burning. I bought the yartzeit candle in October, but it wasn’t burned this year. So while I’m horrified because this seems like a terrible oversight of my sister’s life, in some ways, it is also a good thing. This year was twelve years. I’ll remember her always, but the remembering gets easier (and now I see how remembering becomes forgetting).

Grace Paley has a new book coming out in March of 2008. The Writer’s Almanac, from which this poem is taken, is featuring some of the poems. This one I especially like and so I’ve been reading it today, remembering my sister. I’ve lit a candle for her, not a yartzeit candle, a small votive. I think she’ll appreciate it.

Poem: "I needed to talk to my sister..." by Grace Paley, from Fidelity. © Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Reprinted with permission.(buy now)

I needed to talk to my sister...


I needed to talk to my sister
talk to her on the telephone I mean
just as I used to every morning
in the evening too whenever the
grandchildren said a sentence that
clasped both our hearts

I called her phone rang four times
you can imagine my breath stopped then
there was a terrible telephonic noise
a voice said this number is no
longer in use how wonderful I
thought I can
call again they have not yet assigned
her number to another person despite
two years of absence due to death

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Quiet Mountain Essays

On the Solstice, I received a lovely email from Suzanne Sunshower, the administrator over at Quiet Mountain Essays. This website publishes a quarterly journal of new feminist voices. It’s a great site that is always a good and interesting read on radical feminist material. I encourage you to check it out.

New Poem in Junctures

Yesterday I received my copy of Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue in the mail. Issue #9 is on the theme of Voice. This fine, perfect-bound journal from New Zealand is a great read - and in addition to being published as a print journal, the whole journal is also available online as a PDF. You can download it at It’s quite lovely. I’m especially pleased by it because a poem of mine is included in the journal. The poem is titled, “The Former Prime Minister.”

Here is what the editor wrote about the journal: 
Now in its third year of publication, Junctures seeks to establish conversations and collaborations between people who don't necessarily already interact, by articles focusing on specific themes, rather than on specific disciplines.  Issue #9 features scholars, writers and artists from areas as diverse as general practice, ethics, art history, poetry and indigenous studies; and from geographic regions ranging from New Zealand and Norway to Alaska!  Contributors to this issue include Grant Gillett, Kirsti Malterud, Pat Hoffie, and Lina Sunseri, to name only a few.
We hope you will visit the free full-text, on-line issue of the journal and that you will pass this information on to your colleagues, associates and students.  We welcome submissions for our up-coming issues, and hope you will consider choosing Junctures as a place to submit your work.
Please visit there and read the journal if you are interested!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lambda Literary Award Nominations in Poetry

These are the nominations for the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry. This year the poetry is combined for men and women whereas last year it was gender segregated. There are so many great books on this year’s list (both books that I have read and want to read!) that I have no idea how they will ever whittle it to finalists and then choose a winner.


* Walking in Sappho's Garden, Ayin Adams
* Blissful Times, Sandra Alland (Book Thug)
* New Jersey, Betsy Andrews (University of Winsconsin Press)
* Seminal, John Barton and Billeh Nickerson (Arsenal Pulp Press)
* The Human Line, Ellen Bass (Copper Canyon Press)+
* Notebook of Roses and Civilization, Nicole Brossard (Coach House Books
* All: A James Broughton Reader, James Broughton, edited by Jack Foley (White Crane Wisdom/Lethe Press)
* Sister, Nickole Brown (Red Hen Press)+
* The Marrow's Telling, Eli Clare (Homofactus Press)
* The Natural Law of Water, Kathleen Cluver (Burning Bush)
* Blackbird and Wolf, Henri Cole (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)
* Catching Tigers in Red Weather, Andrew Demcak (Three Candles Press)
* A Question of Gravity and Light, Blas Falconer (University of Arizona Press)
* Blind Date with Cavafy, Steve Fellner (Marsh Hawk Press)
* After the Fall, Edward Field (University of Pittsburgh)
* Scarlet E, Lois Glenn (Regal Crest Enterprises)
* Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath, Benjamin Grossberg (Ashland Poetry Series)
* Under Sleep, Daniel Hall (University of Chicago Press)
* Rift, Forrest Hamer (Four Way Books)
* The Islands Project, Eloise Klein Healy (Red Hen Press)+
* Hejira, Reginald T. Jackson (Outskirts Press)
* I'm the Man Who Loves You, Amy King (Blazevox Books)
* More Than Anything, Hiram Larew (Vrzhu Press)
* My Body, Joan Larkin (Hanging Loose Press)+
* Imago, Joseph Legaspi (CavanKerry Press)
* A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering, Dawn Lundy Martin (University of Georgia Press)
* Sorry, Tree, Eileen Myles (Wave Books)
* What's Written on the Body, Peter Pereira (Copper Canyon Press)
* The Body is No Machine, Jennifer Perrine (New Issues)
* Torch River, Elizabeth Philips (Brick Books)
* Quiver of Arrows, Carl Phillips (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)+
* Wonder, Nicole Pollifrone (P.D. Publishing)
* The Brightness, William Reichard (Mid-List Press)
* Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth, Adrienne Rich (W.W. Norton)+
* Breezeway, Jason Roush (Windstorm Creative)
* Rhythms, Leo Shelton (Tugson Press)
* Fata Morgana, Reginald Shepherd (University of Pittsburgh)
* Theory of Orange, Rachel M. Simon (Pavement Saw Press)
* The Screw and the Fast of It, Nathalie Stephens (Nightboat Books)
* Purple Hats and Pink Tutus, Betty Nadine Thomas (Spruce Head Island Press)
* Going Around with Bachelors, Agnes Walsh (Brick Books)
* The Second Person, C. Dale Young (Four Way Books)
* Human Resources, Rachel Zolf (Coach House Books)

+ Books I have read
I think it’s accurate to say I have some degree of interest in reading ALL of the books.