Kate Partridge: What role does poetry have in feminist dialogue? How do you see your work as a writer participating in feminist dialogue? Kevin McLellan: Considering the history—the demographics of publishers and the demographics of published poets — and considering that poems are artifacts, underrepresented populations have a responsibility to not only themselves, but also to future generations and generations past, to publish representative work. Considering this, poetry ca
Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies is a 1405 French medieval, proto-feminist allegory that aims to build a space for women safe from misogyny, sexism, and physical/sexual abuse. It’s a wonderful text to read and teach in a college literature or even rhet/comp course—and its concerns are, sadly, still just as relevant today as they were in 1405. My goal in this post is to share some ideas, resources, and lesson plans that I have found helpful in teaching this
Poor Claudia, 2014
Hand sewn, $10 What I actually want to tell you is that I like this book. You should buy it and read it. The poems are beautifully made and surprising. The sequence includes illustrations that complement the poems' image-making. The whole thing makes me feel feelings. But in case my personal recommendation doesn’t carry much weight and you want to know a little more about the book, it seems only fair to tell you that, too.
The title of this post comes from a line in “Keys To The Cages”, one of the poems in Incendiary, for which I won first prize in Arcadia Press’s Ruby Irene Chapbook 2014 contest. As a girl, I held tight to the place in myself that knew it didn’t want to be like my mother, caged and dismissed as a full participant in life. Concurrently, I flamed with wild passion for God, for sexual union, for empowerment, for answers. Despite, or maybe because of my coming of age in the 50’s,