Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thunk: Me v Ryan Manning

what do you aspire to?

Foresight. Patience. Unimpeachability. Lust.

Talk: This is What a Feminist [Poet] Looks Like


Catherine Daly here.

Feministing's Community page here.

Jeannine Hall Gailley here.

Becca Klaver here.

Mark Wallace here.



And don't forget:

Reb Livingston here and here

Adam Robinson at HTMLGIANT


Stan Apps here

You! At Delirious Hem; c'mon over.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The girl is important to Gurlesque II


To be clear, this is my thinking about gender & the Gurlesque. Lara says she'd consider Johannes Goransson & Mayakovsky (to name just two men) Gurlesque. I wouldn't--I'd consider their work of an affinity-aesthetic yet unnamed. Perhaps I'm over-specializing, but I suspect there are a number of highly specific categories with gender-bender affinity, and each of them would be important not only for the bending, but for the mode of bending. A Written on the Body category, for instance, shouldn't be lumped in with the kitschy performance of the feminine, or the hypermasculine, or etc. And I should clarify that I don't believe in an essentially feminine or masculine experience, but I do believe that girls/women and boys/men experience significantly different culturing in the US and abroad, and while we question, challenge, and subvert the binary, we also remain to some degree subject to it.

Questions I'll advance answer to:

1. Could a man/male/masculine manifestation write a Gurlesque poem? Sure, but the speaker to my thinking, would still have to reside in some manifestation of feminine. Or the poem would have to mess with femininity a la the grotesque/burlesque/girly kitsch/etc. that Lara & Arielle describe. I don't think Lara (or Arielle?) agrees with me on this point, and you may find me changing my tune if I see poems + persuasions.

2. Does a human need female biology to perform feminine? No, of course not. But the way girls/women/feminine manifestations are cultured cannot be divorced from our notions about the female body. Consider: testosterone, from testicle, from the Latin root meaning to testify. Estrogen? From oestrus, Latin for gadfly or frenzy. Culture informs biology informs culture...and this to me seems quite central to the poets in whom Gurlesque has been identified. It's vital to examine how these poets confront the powers that police and define female bodies. Further, the female body has long been a site on which aesthetic camps planted flag in a way the male body has not, so there is some very different, necessary work to be done on that stomping ground.

Other questions that seem to be nagging at the borders of discussion:

3. Does the Gurlesque envision gender as a spectrum? Or some other non-binary model? (Answer probably = yes.) And, if so, would that be more significant than, or overwrite the work it does to interrogate explicitly feminine gender roles and the cultural responses to the female form?

4. Do the Gurlesque poets go drag? Do they mess with masculinity? Do they create types neither masculine nor feminine?

5. If so, #4, are those Gurlesque things they do, or are those things they do in addition to the Gurlesque?

There's also discussion afoot over at Johannes Goransson's.

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The girl is important to Gurlesque

Dudes,

I like to think there's a large umbrella of non-normative body/gender work under which Gurlesque and related aesthetics would fall. Mantasia! Dogirlelle! TransManlantic!

Chelsey Minnis & Joe Wenderoth & David Trinidad & kari edwards & so on might all end up in a wonking-huge Gender Trouble Poetry Trouble anthology.

But Gurlesque is descriptive of girls/women/females/feminine manifestations camping up, kitsching up, f-ing up, xing out, troubling femininity--girl type, woman type, mother type, daughter type, hey-lady baby bitch...type, gorgon siren pillar of salt type, wife/girlfriend type, or vagina as social agent type gender. It is not the only mode of interrogating (feminine) gender norms, and all modes are not interchangeable. In my opinion.

Other opinions of late?

Lara Glenum's Gurlesque guest post on Johannes's blog.

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Good Things(on the Internet)

The state I most like to see another human in is “nervous but brave,” says Anne Boyer to Ryan Manning at Thunk.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

This is What a Feminist [Poet] Looks Like



Who's talking:

Reb Livingston here and here

Adam Robinson at HTMLGIANT


Stan Apps here

You! At Delirious Hem; c'mon over.

Featuring:
Monday May 4:
Mary Biddinger, Anne Boyer, & Brandi Homan
Tuesday May 5:
Megan Kaminski, Becca Klaver, & Majena Mafe
Wednesday May 6:
Gina Myers, Martha Silano, & Leah Souffrant
Thursday May 7:
K. Lorraine Graham, Elizabeth Treadwell, & Sarah Vap
Friday May 8:
Teresa Carmody, Kim Rosenfield, Vanessa Place, & Christine Wertheim

There are likely as many strains and modes of feminist poetics as there are of feminism, but in reviews, discussions, and even our own manifestos, we often fall into shorthand that fails to explore this valuable friction, our own variations. I've lately longed for unpacking, and so issued this open-ended call:
This is What a Feminist [Poet] Looks Like: what branch of feminism, model of feminist poetics, feminist icon, or etc. informs your poetry? Or, from which of these does your poetry diverge? Are there particular feminist tactics you employ? Do you consider yourself a feminist in many ways, but don't particularly involve it in the poetry? Feel free to take liberties with the questions! Short, long, essay, manifesto, whatever appeals to you!

Delirious Hem's monthly poetics forums are designed to give women poets a platform from which to address topics we all grapple with, obsess over, cram down the craws of our cohabitant lovelies. DH's poetics forums invite creato-critico-bio-cultural-multi-dimensional responses. Political personal public private. Theory-rich, yammer-strung, high-octane, molecular-fringe. DH's poetics forums invite contributors to drop in briefly or never shut up. We hope you'll do the same (see fig. 1, the comments box).

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Poetics Forum #1 at Delirious Hem

Over at Delirious Hem, you'll find the first installment in the new poetics forums I'm curating. I hope you'll visit, comment, thrill.



Featuring:
Monday May 4:
Mary Biddinger, Anne Boyer, & Brandi Homan
Tuesday May 5:
Megan Kaminski, Becca Klaver, & Majena Mafe
Wednesday May 6:
Gina Myers, Martha Silano, & Leah Souffrant
Thursday May 7:
K. Lorraine Graham, Mytili Jagannathan, Elizabeth Treadwell, & Sarah Vap
Friday May 8:
Teresa Carmody & co.

There are likely as many strains and modes of feminist poetics as there are of feminism, but in reviews, discussions, and even our own manifestos, we often fall into shorthand that fails to explore this valuable friction, our own variations. I've lately longed for unpacking, and so issued this open-ended call:
This is What a Feminist [Poet] Looks Like: what branch of feminism, model of feminist poetics, feminist icon, or etc. informs your poetry? Or, from which of these does your poetry diverge? Are there particular feminist tactics you employ? Do you consider yourself a feminist in many ways, but don't particularly involve it in the poetry? Feel free to take liberties with the questions! Short, long, essay, manifesto, whatever appeals to you!

Delirious Hem's monthly poetics forums are designed to give women poets a platform from which to address topics we all grapple with, obsess over, cram down the craws of our cohabitant lovelies. DH's poetics forums invite creato-critico-bio-cultural-multi-dimensional responses. Political personal public private. Theory-rich, yammer-strung, high-octane, molecular-fringe. DH's poetics forums invite contributors to drop in briefly or never shut up. We hope you'll do the same (see fig. 1, the comments box).

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