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January 11, 2011

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Right on!

Very insightful post. I am starting to read more and more from female writers although for a long time I related more to the gay male writer (although I am a hetero female). Glad to see more women challenging the writing stereotypes!

I went through a period of reading only writing by women. Then, in grad school, I realized how much I wanted to participate in the conversation with literature across centuries. The teachers and some of the students had a common language based on their having read "the classics." So I embarked on a rigorous reading program in order to try to catch up, at least a little bit. Most of the books were by men, though not all and I came to regard the arguments in favor of revising the canon to be ill conceived. Of course one should read widely but we deserve the pleasure of reading those great books that have survived. Also, I reject the argument that says I will "relate" more to writing by my own sex, race, religion, etc. What do I have in common with a man from rural France who fought in Napoleon's army? Nothing, yet I couldn't put Stendhal's "The Red and the Black" down. Just before I began Anna Karenina, my teacher (Susan Cheever) said "Oh I envy you the experience of reading that book for the first time." I think we've had enough "score-settling and bean counting." I find it tiresome and sometimes insulting. Thanks for this provocative post.

Leslie, there is a wonderful anthology of menstruation poems and stories called Women. Period.

"Yes, the best revenge is living well. And so is the fullest kind of life, one given to wholeheartedness and the very best work we can produce."

I think I need to jot this down on a piece of paper and tack it to my desk.

Thank you Leslie.

I'm ready for the third wave of women poets! My favorite poetry, though, is poetry where you can't tell the sex of the poet.

Interesting that you count Gluck as part of the first wave. There's such a wealth of women poets in our rough generation elided; Heather Mchugh, C. D Wright, Fannie Howe, Marie Howe, Forche, Carson, Armentrout, Loden, McPherson, Bryan, Southwick, Finch, Pamela Alexander, --I could go one for pages--who aren't "marginalized" in the sense you mention. I guess I want more waves, there's such richness out there.

Good post, though personally, I could do without the menstruation poems, or menstruation in any kind of art.

What Sarah Gorham said goes double for me. I can't believe there is really a book titled simply, "Women. Period." That's funny. But would "war is menstruation envy" be funny if there were truth to it?

Ditto Sarah Gorham and Daria Farrell.

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