Category Archives: All The Feminist Poets

Sex Permeates Everything: The Poetry of Lola Ridge

Long before the dawn of sexting and frank depictions of women’s sexuality in TV shows like Broad City, the candlelit tea-rooms of 1920s Greenwich Village boomed with women’s sex talk. They didn’t call those years “roaring” for nothing. World War I had just ended, as had the terrible flu epidemic. Both were short, and their casualties enormous. What else for the survivors to do but fuck, or at least talk about it? According to Foucault, poetry at the start of the 17th century was the only sex talk there was until two centuries later, when sex scientists like Havelock Ellis began a murmur that turned into the roar of the sex-positive 1920s. When women writers re-discovered sex in the 1920s, poetry was what the wild girls wrote. Bookstores couldn’t keep women’s work in stock, with poems like Mina Loy’s “Love Songs to Joannes” (“Pig Cupid/His rosy snout/Rooting erotic garbage.”) flying off the shelves.

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ALL THE FEMINIST POETS: Elline Lipkin

ALL THE FEMINIST POETS features a single poem and an interview from a feminist poet that we love.

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EL-012

Elline Lipkin is currently a Research Scholar with UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women.  She also teaches poetry for Writing Workshop Los Angeles. Her first book, The Errant Thread, was chosen by Eavan Boland for the Kore Press First Book Award, and her second book Girls’ Studies was published by Seal Press. After many peripatetic years spent in all regions of the US and abroad, she now lives in Los Angeles.

 

 

                                                   La Sorcière

In literal French: a sorceress, a witch, also slang for any older,
 unmarried woman.  In French custom, a sorcière is also the name
for a simple band worn as a safeguard above a wedding ring.

                                                          It curls,
                           a thin slice of dun moon, its pressed lips
                           un-made-up against the stars’ hoyden brass.

                                                          And lines,
                           a tin wrinkle marring the stone’s set face,
                           a pucker of grey band capping the light’s fall.

                                                         It twists,
                          the concierge against her 6 a.m. broom, restless to sweep
                          two sets of 4 a.m. prints, fugitives fled past her door.

                                                        And taunts,
                          the loose gleam off a crinoline, a fille de joie’s indolent wink,
                          bordered by the nun’s stern wimple, the crone’s weird glance.

                                                        It sets,
                          flash status against the spinster’s slow fade, last aunt,
                          the mystery within the sealed attic’s rat-a-tat-tat.

                                                       Then pairs,
                          two cards pulled side by side from the arcana,
                          the diamond’s naive reach, the queen’s argentine pall. 

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Chronology Doesn’t Always Feel Good: An Interview with Eileen Myles

Photo by: Annabel Graham

Photo by: Annabel Graham

On November 10, 2013, I interviewed Eileen Myles over the phone. Our discussion was focused on her two-books-published-as-one, Snowflake and different streets. Now that Eileen has recently released two books on the same date—it seemed fitting to finally release this interview into the world. Here is Part 1 of 2 of my interview with Eileen Myles.

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Cathy de la Cruz: These questions are all about Snowflake and different streets.

Eileen Myles: I love this new twist in our relationship.

CD: I know… it’s so weird, but it’s kind of hilarious. In my mind, you are this book right now and you’re not my friend, Eileen. I mean that in the best way possible.

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ALL THE FEMINIST POETS: LaToya Jordan

ALL THE FEMINIST POETS features a single poem and an interview from a feminist poet that we love.

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LaToya Jordan

LaToya Jordan is a writer from Brooklyn, New York. Her poetry has appeared in Mobius: The Journal for Social Change, MiPOesias, Radius, and is forthcoming in Mom Egg Review. She is the author of the chapbook Thick-Skinned Sugar (Finishing Line Press). She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her biggest fans are her husband and pre-schooler.

 

Miss Missing

White sashes embroidered
with gold letters
showcase our locations:

Bottom of the East River
Abandoned Lot Southwest of Philly
Burnt House in North Carolina
Buried in a Park in Seattle

Last year’s winner pins
the crown to my head.
From Miss Ditch in Ashland County
to Miss Missing.
Mascara tears and black eyes
There she is, Miss Missing.

You probably saw my college graduation
photo on the news and in the papers.
All-American face and form. Flawless skin
now dressed in tiny red mouths
trapped in rigor mortis screams.

I pray for someone to hear
our remains. We sing a raspy song,
reenactment of last breaths
to welcome the new pageant girls.

The newest sisters of our piecemeal gang
include the one with fingerprint tattoos,
a girl who carries her head like a purse,
and the woman whose baby trails behind her,
still connected by the umbilical cord.

The girls add pushpins to the map
on the wall backstage. X marks the spot.
A rainbow of pins, thousands of them
crisscross with our limbs
like cross country railroad tracks.

Find any of the other contestants,
Miss Landfill Los Angeles or
Miss Abandoned Car in Brooklyn,
and I bet that beneath brown decomposing skin,
their bones are as pale white as mine.

(published by Radius)

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ALL THE FEMINIST POETS: Melissa Broder

ALL THE FEMINIST POETS features a single poem and an interview from a feminist poet that we love.

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Broder

Melissa Broder is the author of three collections of poems, most recently SCARECRONE. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in POETRY, Tin House, The Iowa Review, Fence, The Missouri Review, Guernica, and elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

THOUSANDS

He is told to send a lock of hair
but instead sends a dossier
of charts. There are bullets,
vectors, single choice answers.
No questions. On every page
appears a yellowish husband.
The husband is a sick man.
I want the diagram-sender
sicker. I want every man
fainting in a reservoir
of contaminated water.
I have black chrysanthemums
in each hole and a gypsy smell.
My climax shakes the basin.
I hold out one hand for every man
but I’m looking at my snake.

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ALL THE FEMINIST POETS: Bettina Judd

ALL THE FEMINIST POETS features a single poem and an interview from a feminist poet that we love.

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bettina_judd

Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Bettina Judd was born in Baltimore and raised in Southern California. She teaches courses in Black women’s art, Black culture, and Black feminist thought. She has received fellowships from the Five Colleges, the Vermont Studio Center and the University of Maryland. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry by Mythium Literary Magazine. Her poems have appeared in Torch, Mythium, Meridians and other journals and anthologies. More about her can be found at www.bettinajudd.com. Continue reading

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ALL THE FEMINIST POETS: Geraldine Kim

ALL THE FEMINIST POETS features a single poem and an interview from a feminist poet that we love.

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Geraldine Kim Geraldine Kim is the author of Povel (Fence, 2005) which was featured in The Believer and Village Voice‘s top 25 books of the year. She has contributed to Starting Today, a collection of 100 poems for Obama’s first 100 days (University of Iowa, 2010), to Gurlesque (Saturnalia, 2010) and to the e-version of Gurlesque (forthcoming, Saturnalia). She also wrote the play Donning Cheadle, which was performed in venues in San Francisco and Oakland.

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