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November 30, 2008

Call For Proposals:

Advancing Feminist Poetics and Activism: A Gathering
CUNY Graduate Center, Fall 2009

In celebration of its tenth year, Belladonna*/** will join with The CUNY Graduate Center's Women's Studies Certificate Program, Center for Research on Women and Society, Center for Humanities, Poetics Group, and English Department to present a conference aimed at advancing and broadcasting the life of Feminist Avant-Garde Poetics and Activism Today. The conference will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center on September 24 and 25, 2009. 

Our goals for this conference are the following: 
1) To support the study of the Feminist Avant-Garde 
2) To encourage collaboration between radical feminist artists/thinkers/activists. 
3) To provide a space to think about relevant activism in these times, in this place.

We at Belladonna* are particularly interested in what's immediate, present and happening now. We would like this call to encourage conversations and new designs for work betwe...

November 24, 2008


Sharkforum: "Our contention is quite plain - it's better to be criticized for your stated positions than to be misinterpreted and ridiculed based on the assumptions of others. Our editors aren't told what to write, and they aren't censored when they choose to voice an unpopular view. What we're saying is this - interesting dialog comes from contrast. No one is as smart as everyone. SHARKFORUM is the brain child of Wesley Kimler."

Poem of the Week: Kathleen Rooney's "Niagara Falls: Scrapbook Three" http://www.sharkforum.org/2008/11/poem-of-the-week-by-kathleen-r.html

Kathleen Rooney is the author of Reading with Oprah: the Book Club That Changed America(University of Arkansas, 2005) and a founding editor of Rose Metal Press. Her collaborative chapbook Something Really Wonderful, co-written with Elisa Gabbert, is available from dancing girl press, and their full-length collection That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness is available from Otoliths Books. Oneiromance (an epithalamion) is her fir...

November 20, 2008

Make/shift magazine creates and documents contemporary feminist culture and action by publishing journalism, critical analysis, and visual and text art, while embracing the multiple and shifting identities of feminist communities. This issue's atricles focus on feminist bookstores and publishing. 

On that wonderful note, Stacey May Fowels writes: "Pathogenesis is a meticulous and otherworldly record of bruises, blood, blisters, scabs, and scars. It is a book that treads fearlessly into the viciously real, and then escapes suddenly into the surreal and magical. These are poems obsessed with the borader implications of illness and exhaustion, both physical and emotional, all at once terrifying and liberating in thier visceral detail."

Peggy Munson is also the author of the book of poetry Origami Striptease and editor of the anthology Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

November 17, 2008

Heartfelt congratulations to Advisory Board Member Simone Muench, whose third book, Orange Crush, has just been accepted for publication by Sarabande Books!

For a closer look at some of the poems in Orange Crush, take a look at poethound's interview with Ms. Muench about her dancing girl press chapbook, Orange Girl.

November 15, 2008


[...] one of the major aesthetics of the contemporary moment is the feminist. Not feminist in the political sense, by which I mean the Adrienne Rich sense, but feminist in the sense that the poem wants to create its own conditions for analysis, wants to construct its own world that is simultaneously shared and shareable.

This is in distinction to the rather muscular and masculine trend of, let's say, Ginsberg, where the object is to shoulder your way through sense and sensibility, dragging your reader along through an oppositional world so that there is a binary dynamic of seer-acolyte; instead here, and in a lot of contemporary work that I value, the poet voluntarily -- and, importantly, without anxiety -- becomes the recipient of meaning which is then passed through to the reader.

--Simon DeDeo in an old post but a good one on G.C. Waldrep, whom Steven D. Schroeder compares to Caroline Noble Whitbeck

November 15, 2008

Also, don't we imagine that the Obamas made their bargain about their roles a while ago? Didn't Michelle Obama effectively stop working at her hospital job long before now? That is a real sacrifice, don't get me wrong, but on the other hand, her husband is president. That is an accomplishment with its own set of rules. It's also one that requires a team effort, and that gives Michelle Obama, as crack defensive end aka first lady, enormous power. A weird and retro form of power, to be sure, but power nonetheless. Before we knock all of that, let's give her a chance to wield it. She is promising to focus on the concerns of working women. Amen and hallelujah: If she does it and gets somewhere, that will be concretely groundbreaking in a way that all this image-obsession never is, and she'll come to represent not the shortcomings of feminism, but its strengths.

--Emily Bazelon on Slate

November 14, 2008

Good, now that we've all got that out of our system, we'd like to welcome the newest member to the Switchback staff... Dolly Lemke! Dolly is joining us as, for lack of a better title, a Jill-of-All-Trades, and we look forward to working with her and getting to know her better, as we are already fans of most things MKE. Welcome aboard!

A little more about Dolly:

Dolly graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee earning a BA in English with a concentration in Poetry. After five years of full-time clerical and student work, she is enjoying the “cost of living” loan so graciously awarded to her while pursuing her MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. She plans on vigorously reading and writing poetry and purchasing vintage clothing and furniture. She has work forthcoming in Burdock, a small literary zine based in Milwaukee.

November 12, 2008

"My feelings about getting hitched—as a feminist, as a woman, as a progressive, as a fallen-away Catholic and on and on—were and remain super complex, and so one of the means to express this complexity and conflictedness was to write a whole ton of poems about the proceedings. Weddings and marriage are obviously a locus of a lot of joy—individual and social—but also of a lot of anxiety, and in this regard, Oneiromance could be read as a prolonged and joyful waking anxiety dream. The mixture of selfishness and self sacrifice—you are mine forever and at the exclusion of all others, you are saying to your beloved, but I am giving myself to you on the same terms—that a wedding and a marriage entails is remarkable, and I felt compelled to remark upon it."

--Kathleen Rooney

BUY IT! Oneiromance (an epithalamion)

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