Sunday, September 26, 2010

Women in Literary Arts

A few weeks I stumbled upon this new organization, Vida.  Their goal is basically to "explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women." 
I wish I had known about this organization when I was writing about women writers from the 19th century.  I suspect VIDA is more into modern women writers, but they're not the first people to notice that women's writing often gets ignored.  So hats off to the organization for bringing attention to the issues.  :) 
Stumbling on their website also means that I found a whole new list of books by women to check out.  (Because, clearly, I need more things to read.)  But these poetry books include:
Cate Marvin's World's Tallest Disaster.  I don't so much judge books by their cover as by their title.  I like this one, especially for a poetry book.  Marvin also had another book of poetry out, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, and worked on an anthology called Legitimate Dangers, both of which also look good. 
Erin Belieu's Infanta.  In my poetry, I have this thing for poems that have one word titles from non-English languages or are obscure terms.  I'm kind of curious to see if Belieu is the same way.  I'm also planning on checking out her One Above and One Below and The Extraordinary Tide.
In creative nonfiction, there's is:
My Lesbian Husband.  Great title?  Or greatest title? 
Ecotone.  When I first saw this, I thought it might be a literary magazine, but I'm thinking now it's meant to be an academic tome, focusing on feminism.  As a feminist, I'm okay with that.  
The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the Wild West.  Women's history, sadly, almost always manages to get ignored.  It's nice that someone is trying to focus on a woman's (possibly inaccurate) story as a way of talking about women. 
And no list is ever complete without a few literary magazines.  As someone who used to be on staff, I like looking at what other people do with the format and I want to be supportive.
Hotel Amerika.  I usually like to pick a few of the issues up, even at random, if I can.  The TransGenre issue looks particular intriguing.  
Seneca Review.   An older, well-respected literary magazine.  Hard to beat that. 
Page to Page.  Not an actual literary magazine in the strictest sense, but a retrospective (which seem to be in vogue at literary magazines these days) about the Seattle Review
And in the meantime, because I make the mistake of shopping on Amazon, I also find other books that I want to read.  Including:
Emily Dickinson's The Final Harvest.  I need to read her more obscure poems and not just the ones that they always teach in schools. 
The Best American Essays of the Century.  I'm not much of a fan of Joyce Carol Oates, to tell you the truth, but I do need to do more essay reading, and why not start with what is suppose to be the best?  For good measure, I've decided to throw in a few older editions, including 2007 and 2004.  And since we're on the subject of best essays, I decided that I could probably do with some great nature and science writing (even from 2007), African American essays, American magazine articles, Non-Required Reading, history essays and short stories

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Other Skies

Continuing on a theme, last night I came across the work of Ainsley E, who has her own blog called In Other Skies. It's a design blog, which I really love. Design blogs basically collect cool images, usually around ideas or themes, and post them. I like Ainsley's taste. Just a small peak at her blog brings up cool links to places like OK Great, Design for Mankind, Adam Simpson and automatism.
What I like about design blogs is that, if you check one regularly, it's a nice way to put a little art in your day, especially for me, who doesn't always get a lot of visual art as part of a healthy creative diet. (I do rather well in terms of written form of art, but sometimes slide on the other things.) So maybe I'm going to have to follow these blogs a little more closely, if only because it's good for me.
In the meantime, I went out there looking for something that I thought was beautiful, and this is what I found. I like it when people do interesting, unexpected things to their homes. Who expects to walk in a bedroom and find something as lovely as this?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Christine Collins, Songwriter

I'm usually the first one to admit how in awe I am of my friends.  I see them as being incredible, smart and talented, and, depending on which individual, always find other admirable qualities.
So when I discovered last night that one of my friends, Christine, had a whole budding musical career online, I was pleasantly surprised.

The first one she showed me was this little number, "Starscape," which she wrote as an ode to Doctor Who, which we were talking about at the time.  I think it might be as perfect for the show as its infamous theme song.  I think the simplicity of the tune relates well with how it's suppose to be a children's show.  At the same time, there's something strong and dramatic and dark about it, and again, just like the show, especially in recent years.  Most songs about spaceships don't work out well (unless you're the Vines), but this does.

She told me in our conversation that she is really proud of this song, "Metaphor."  I think there's something very indie rock/folk about this song.  I love the line "There's a metaphor in your hair."  The second verse, about reading Keats and noticing that they have similar writing style, is really beautiful and, again, is just like indie rock.  Other great lyrics include the line about a poet's fingers being pruned. 
I guess it isn't a huge surprise, since I used to live with the young lady in question and I did occasionally hear her singing.  And I knew she wrote poetry because we used to exchange poems by slipping them under each other's doors and critiquing them, so being a singer songwriter is a logical next step for her.  But when we talked about it, she was all "Oh, I'm not that good."  Whatever.  I think these videos speak for themselves.  To check out more of Christine's stuff, look here.