July 4, 2022

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a post. So far this summer, my main objective has been studying for my comprehensive exams, which will be taken mid fall.

I spent a lot of time putting together a list that focused on women’s writing–poetry, as well as creative nonfiction. Specially, I am looking at gender dynamics, thinking about these texts through feminist and queer studies lenses. Ideally, I want to examine the formal characteristics of poetry and prose through the idea of a canon that de-centers the heteropatriarchial (white, male, cisgendered) traditions in writing.

In the last week, my focus has been on these three:

What the Living Do – Marie Howe
The Argonauts – Maggie Nelson
Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson

There’s so much to say about them. I’m not going to say all of it, or even a lot about the actual text at this time; I think my experience of reading, and the feelings I have while doing so, have been just as important as what I’m learning from the language itself. It’s a fantastic line-up. Listening to Maggie Nelson read The Argonauts through Audible has been great because how often do you get to hear it, all of it, in someone’s own voice? All of her careful references to other writers, and the personal knowledge she intertwines–it really makes you want to write. Howe’s writing has been piercing and emotional to sit with at this time for me. And Carson, wow–Autobiography of Red is so rich. It’s my first time reading it and I’m doing a lot of pausing–not a bad thing at all.

And of course, all the reading is making me want to say and do more. As it should.

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