The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood

Overview

The Grand Permission is a book of deeply enriching and articulate meditations on motherhood and the composition of poetry by practicing poets. The 32 contributors write with originality and commitment about the startling, intense and dynamic connections between motherhood and creative achievement—connections that shed new light on the nature of language and genre, the practical life of mothering and the writing vocation. The book combines intimacy of tone and discussion of serious personal issues in new essays ...

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Overview

The Grand Permission is a book of deeply enriching and articulate meditations on motherhood and the composition of poetry by practicing poets. The 32 contributors write with originality and commitment about the startling, intense and dynamic connections between motherhood and creative achievement—connections that shed new light on the nature of language and genre, the practical life of mothering and the writing vocation. The book combines intimacy of tone and discussion of serious personal issues in new essays written in varied and innovative forms. This wonderful book is an ideal gift for mothers of all ages and creative pursuits, and especially valuable for writers concerned about how life decisions impact artistic choices.

CONTRIBUTORS: Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Jill Bialosky, Eavan Boland, Stephanie Brown, Norma Cole, Gillian Conoley, Toi Derricotte, Barbara Einzig, Carolyn Forché, Kathleen Fraser, Susan Gervirtz, Dale Going, Susan Griffin, Mimiko Hahn, Carla Harryman, Fanny Howe, Erica Hunt, Claudia Keelan, Maxine Kumin, Laura Moriarty, Carol Muske, Alice Notley, Alicia Ostriker, Maureen Owen, Frances Phillips, Pam Rehm, Elizabeth Robinson, Camille Roy, Mary Margaret Soan, C.D. Wright.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It is an exciting layering of parallel stories, musings, and investigations. The voices are frank, challenging, and intimate. “—Rachel Kubie, Oyster Boy Review
Library Journal
"In exploring motherhood in poetics, would I be considered a domestic poet, and hence a lesser poet of more narrow range?" asks Jill Bialosky in her essay "The One Absolutely Beautiful Thing," which sets the tone for this collection. Eclectic in both tone and treatment, the 32 essays included here address a mother's status as poet and present an intimate and realistic view of the rewards and complexities of combining motherhood and poetics. Evaluating the various ways in which motherhood influences their creative work, many of the writers-among them, Eavan Boland, Toi Derricotte, Carolyn Forch , Fanny Howe, Maxine Kumin, and Alicia Ostriker-discuss the difficulties of finding the time, the energy, and sometimes even the confidence to write. Since the writers represent different generations, their approaches to the subject vary greatly. Hence, editors Dienstfrey (The Woman Without Experiences) and Hillman (Cascadia) have organized the work into four thematic sections (social and historic contexts, genre and representation, language paradigms, and temporal and other crossings). The connection between motherhood and creative achievement has gained greater acceptance in the past 20 years, and this work plays a significant role in continuing the trend. Highly recommended for all academic libraries and large public libraries that support a literature and/or women's studies curriculum.-Erica Swenson Danowitz, American Univ. Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819566447
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 5/8/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

PATRICIA DIENSTFREY's most recent book of prose-poetry, The Woman Without Experiences (1995), was the winner of the America Award for Fiction. She is a co-founder of Kelsey Street Press. BRENDA HILLMAN is the author of Cascadia (Wesleyan, 2001). She has received many awards, including the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry. RACHEL BLAU DUPLESSIS is Professor of English at Temple University.

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Read an Excerpt

"Readers should find something provocative and heartening in the diversity of attitudes and issues taken up. This book gives a set of serious, inspiring models for meditations on motherhood, and a propulsive permission for facing the challenges of motherhood and creative work."

-From the foreword, by Rachel Blau DuPlessis

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Table of Contents

PIERCING COMMOTION: SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL COMMOTION
Motherhood and Poetics – Maxine Kumin
When as a Girl on the Plains of Minnesota – Maureen Owe
The World is not Precisely Round: Piercing Commotion (on writing and Motherhood) – Erica Hunt
Not a Perfect Mother – Stephane Brown
My Motherhood – Camille Roy
Erasing Names, Multiplying Alliances – Claudia Keelan
Writing National Birth – Toi Derricotte
Emergence – Carolyn Forche

OB(LIT)ERATION: GENRE AND REPRESENTATION
The Other Sylvia Plath – Evan Boland
Pulse and Impulse, The Zuihist – Kimiko Hahn
And the Motherhood of Poetics – Susan Griffin
Elaborations of Between: The Interpolation of a child into a Writer’s Poetics – Mary Margaret Sloan
The Writing Being – Laura Moriarty
Radiance in the Story Lattice – Patricia Dienstfrey
Parallel Play – Carla Harryman

SIGNALS GIVEN: LANGUAGE PARADIGMS
Doublings – Alice Notely
To book as in to foal. To son. – Kathleen Fraser
Notes on “Listen” – Alicia Ostriker
Beyond Impatience: On Motherhood and Poetry – Pam Rehm
Allowance: A Poetics of Motherhood – Frances N. Phillips
The One Absolutely Beautiful Thing: My Relationship to Poetry and Motherhood Through the Voices of Women Poets – Jill Bailosky
Heart Murmer – Carol Muske-Dukes
In a Ring of Cows Is the Signal Given - C.D.Wright

A THIRD SPACE: TEMPORAL AND OTHER CROSSINGS
Language and the Gaze at the Other: a Poetics of Birth – Gillian Conoley
Eighty-Five Notes – Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
Resuscitations – Susan Gevirtz
Untitled - (M) Norma Cole
Poetma – Dale Going
First Things First notes toward a discovery of Being a Mother Being a Writer – Barbara Einzig
Split, Spark, and Space – Brenda Hillman
Gaps, Overflow, and Linkage: A Synesthesiac Look at Motherhood and Writing – Elizabeth Robinson
The Pinocchain Ideal – Fanny Howe

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