friday roundup: bedrock, my inner feminist, and meet your new poet laureate

bedrock – photo public domain from wikimedia

Friday again. I am amidst the flurry of end-of-year activities. Class plays, field day, Kinder fun day, 4th grade Water Day, etc., etc., etc. Surely I’m not the only parent in the world who’s ready to fly the white flag of surrender? Thank goodness summer vacation’s just a few days away so we can all get back to being good-enough parents.

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to keep up with my writing life, too, and here’s what’s on my mind this week.

bedrock  The women of VIDA have recently launched a new blog, HER KIND (which I assume is named after this poem by poetry foremother Anne Sexton). VIDA is known for their analysis of gender balance, or more accurately imbalance, in publishing (“the VIDA count”). I’ve really enjoyed reading HER KIND, and this week an interview with poet Rebecca Seiferle really resonated with me. She said,

I’ve been struck lately how there is a kind of current that flows like a river through one’s work and life and that it’s not necessarily very dependent on us, our will or intent, and that most of what we can do is work, labor, in the midwifery sense, to become transparent to it. It’s not an ultimate journey, in the sense of an end, so much as ultimate in terms of the bedrock that the current flows over, is shaped by, and shapes.

I think this is a wonderful perspective on poetry and any life/life’s work. You can read the whole interview here.

my inner feminist  And speaking of gender imbalance, so many things have been riling up my inner feminist lately. My inner feminist has never required a whole lot to get riled up, but she was really honked off during the recent discussion of contraceptive coverage — which, it seems, was mostly the between and amongst men (the conversation, that is). The most recent is this report on gender imbalance in political coverage. In an election season where women’s bodies are so much at stake, it seems we should be hearing primarily from women, not men. I’m pretty sure if the media tried hard they could find well-informed, articulate, female experts with whom to discuss the issues of contraception, family planning, and abortion rights. And P.S., I am 100% convinced that if we took the men in Congress and put them in a room with a bunch of children aged birth to 3 years (and let’s make them hungry, tired children just for kicks), not only would birth control be covered, it would be free. Okay. End of rant. Moving on.

meet your new poet laureate  Much happiness and excitement in the poetry world after the Library of Congress announced that Natasha Trethewey will be our next poet laureate. Natasha Trethewey is a fab poet, and she has a special place in my heart for selecting Threshold by Jennifer Richter for the Crab Orchard Series in poetry — one of my favorite books of all time. You can learn more about your new poet laureate and read some of her work here.

Okay, Reader, it’s off to Field Day for me. Have a wonderful Friday, and thanks, as always, for reading.

10 thoughts on “friday roundup: bedrock, my inner feminist, and meet your new poet laureate

  1. P.S. I know that the issues of contraception, family planning, and abortion rights are issues upon which good-hearted people will disagree, and I don’t want my rant to squelch voices of dissent. My point is that, for issues so central to the well-being of women, more women’s voices should be part of the debate.

  2. Hey, Molly, thanks for the link to the new VIDA blog; I’d missed it. Also, you aren’t alone in your rant. Yes, we need to hear from women on all sides of the issues. We need dialogue from the people at the heart of the policies.

    Also, I hear you about the white flag of surrender, although I’m not a parent. I’m the spouse of a high school teacher. He flew his flag last week. Hope you get to fly yours soon.

  3. I agree with you that there is a shocking lack of women’s voices being heard on issues that clearly affect women more than men. While I personally am of two minds on the subject, I know that if men were suddenly the birth givers (let alone the caretakers), the story would be different. I also find it shocking that some people that I talk to that are opposed to birth control in favour of maternal healthcare are also opposed to social programming that helps those women and their children after they’re born. It’s sad that because it’s such a hot button issue, people tune out or yell louder rather than try to understand an alternative point of view and seek common ground.

    • Oh, you’re so right about the need for help and support for women and children once they’re born. And about the necessity of finding a way to have a true discussion with open minds and hearts.

    • I actually had fun at Field Day and 2/3 of my kids were glad to see me there (1/3 is now embarrassed to be seen with me in public). You’re welcome for the memory. Happy weekend to you!

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