Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2

31º and brilliant sunshine making a glare on the screen~~loathe to draw the curtain

2010 is staring off in a sluggish gear. We hosted a small party to ring in the New Year (this picture is of our blue moon taken about 11:30 p.m.), and yesterday was spent mostly on the couch, as I don't normally see midnight and lost some few hours of sleep...but it was all worth it. Good friends are a comfort and a delight. And today, I'm going to dinner with two out-of-towners, Allison Joseph and Jon Tribble of SIU Carbondale fame. Yay!


Today, the new issue of Southern Women's Review is available in PDF form, and you can read my poem "This Is What It Comes Down To" on page 83. I haven't had a chance to read the rest of the issue, but it looks lovely. I was so happy when Alicia Clavell, the editor, emailed me to accept this poem. It's a quiet one, and I wasn't sure how it would fare in the world. Thanks to everyone at SWR for giving this poem a home.


Today, I read Julianna Baggott's response to the question of gender & writing and winning awards/making the lists, published in The Washington Post. I was particularly struck by her admission that she had been guilty of this unexamined sexism in the beginning of her education. Baggott writes, "But I was told to worship Chekhov, Cheever, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Carver, Marquez, O'Brien. . . . " I was reminded once again how grateful I am to the professors I had at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University whose sole focus was on diversity. We read the traditional canon, but we also explored those marginalized voices that had been excluded. This was the late 80's/early 90's. I even did an independent study with one professor on Contemporary American Women Poets, where I created my own list of 8 or 10 books that fit the category and read one a week, writing a short paper on each. That was fabulous!

Baggott goes on to write about a stunning study:
Playwright Julia Jordan pointed me toward a recent study about perceptions of male and female playwrights that showed that plays with female protagonists were the most devalued in blind readings. "The exact same play that had a female protagonist was rated far higher when the readers thought it had a male author," Jordan said. "In fact, one of the questions on the blind survey was about the characters 'likability,'and the exact same female character, same lines, same pagination, when written by a man was exceeding likable, when written by a woman was deemed extremely unlikable."


Due to all the festivities of the last few days, I fell behind in my blog reading, and I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of unread posts in my Google Reader this morning. Many, many folks posted their resolutions, which I find fascinating, as I've never been good at "resoluting." Of the many I read, I was particularly struck by Diane Lockward's post at Blogalicious. Her first resolution is "1. Write on a more regular basis. Aim for three morning sessions per week. Show up at the kitchen table. Do chores later. Or not at all." This is a great one for me, since over the break, I've allowed the chores to interrupt my writing time far too often! Poets should all have piles of dirty laundry and unwashed dishes!!

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