Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-05-2009, 01:43 PM
Carol Trese Carol Trese is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 209
Default Annie Finch, Women's Work: The Poetic Justice Forum

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harr...rum/#more-3250

To join the Poetic Justice Discussion, please log on at http://z3.invisionfree.com/Poetic_Ju...ex.php?act=idx
  #2  
Old 06-05-2009, 07:21 PM
Mark Allinson Mark Allinson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tomakin, NSW, Australia
Posts: 5,322
Default

Sorry, girls, but I just don't buy this stuff about suppression of female poets.

I don't doubt the publication figures, but there are other interpretations available other than sexist suppression.

Quality is quality is quality, and I don't care what the gender of the writer is.

And I don't believe that the majority of editors think any differently.

If something truly fine comes along, I do not believe that editors ask - "is this poet a woman?" before approving of it.

When I see stuff by Dickinson, or Sylvia Plath or Gwen Harwood, I can SEE and HEAR immediately that it is excellent. And I know that the majority of currently practising male poets cannot hope to match that quality.

I really don't believe that really fine poetry is being overlooked on the basis of the gender of its author.

But I also realise that some folks will NEVER believe this.

Get real, girls - get good or get out of the game.
  #3  
Old 06-05-2009, 07:37 PM
Richard Epstein Richard Epstein is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 296
Default

When I see forums devoted to poems by and about women or by and about people of color or by and about gay poets, my reaction is always pretty much the same: How would you feel if you encountered a forum called Poems by Men, White Poets, or Heterosexual Poets? If your answer is, I'd be offended (or outraged), I think you got some 'splainin' to do. It's wrong, or perhaps merely silly, to pigeonhole poets by gender, color, sexual preference, height, weight, or facial hair; and this doesn't change just because you take the side of the minority presence (even if that is what women are, a somewhat dubious proposition). Some one of the places I read posts a link to Women Formalist Poets, and I never notice that w/o wondering how much indignation would be ginned up over a site called Male Formalist Poets and why such a site would be either better or worse.

RHE
  #4  
Old 06-05-2009, 08:10 PM
Mark Allinson Mark Allinson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tomakin, NSW, Australia
Posts: 5,322
Default

And it's not as if I don't know what it's like playing for the other team.

As Richard E. can tell you (hi from Zoe, Richard!) , I posted under a female identity on a po-board for nearly a year, just to get a sense of the sociology of gender in the po-world. I realise that most people think that this is a terrible thing to have done, but I found it interesting. I must say that I discovered no entrenched online gender discrimination.

Actually, I do believe that you need a certain degree of androgyny (psychologically, at least) to make poetry.

Last edited by Mark Allinson; 06-05-2009 at 08:13 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-05-2009, 08:18 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA , USA
Posts: 9,199
Default

Annie Finch makes many points about the preponderance of male poets being published in anthologies and elsewhere, frequently citing a two-to-one ratio.

I checked the first two pages of threads in TDE and Metrical. 68 poems were posted by men, 14 by women. That's close to a five-to-one ratio, determined only by the intent of the poet. Golly! Could that possibly point to a reason for the disparity? Could more men appear in anthologies, and get published in general, because more men are writing and workshopping poetry? (To provide other experience, my Powow group is about two-to-one male, and the WCU attendance tends to be majority male, although probably more like 55/45 or 60/40.)

Does Ms. Finch provide any analysis along those lnes? Ah, yes - she points out there are more women in the total US population than men. And cites, "the great numbers of women writing and publishing poetry today...", but makes absolutely no attempt to compare that to the number of men. It almost leads one to conclude that Annie Finch has an agenda.
  #6  
Old 06-05-2009, 08:35 PM
Mark Allinson Mark Allinson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tomakin, NSW, Australia
Posts: 5,322
Default

I checked the first two pages of threads in TDE and Metrical. 68 poems were posted by men, 14 by women.

Well, the issue regarding these figures, Michael, will become: Why are women feeling discouraged from posting on TDE?

All you have done is to provide more evidence of the gender war in po-land.
  #7  
Old 06-05-2009, 08:57 PM
David Landrum's Avatar
David Landrum David Landrum is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Grand Rapdis, Michigan, USA
Posts: 2,427
Default

Maybe, too, this is the place to bring it up. I clicked on Calls for Submissions on Facebook the other day and the first listing I see is Bone Bouquet: A New Journal of Women's Poetry. Of course, I am excluded from this journal, as I am excluded from Mezzo Cammin, Calyx and others by virtue of my gender. This ethics of exclusion is fascinating. Would a Journal of Men's Poetry even be allowed by today's standards? Here is a case where men are excluded deliberately by the magazine's submission standards, not by a some kind covert discriminatory principle.
  #8  
Old 06-05-2009, 09:15 PM
Mark Allinson Mark Allinson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tomakin, NSW, Australia
Posts: 5,322
Default

But David, don't you know the answer to that one by now?

It goes like this: men have dominated and suppressed women's artistic creativity since the stone age, and these gender-exclusive books, mags and sites are a type of "affirmative action", to help women catch up.

But I believe that women with guts and talent have always managed to have their say.

Look at Sappho, universally judged (as much by men as women) as one of the truly great poets of all time. Are you suggesting that she was a mere “token” woman poet, and all the subsequent Sapphos in our culture have been denied possession of paper and pencil, or had their work suppressed or destroyed by jealous men?

Sorry, it doesn’t wash.

Why was it possible for a woman such as Jane Austen to sneak out a few well-chosen words, while all of her would-be-poet sisters were suppressed? What nonsense.

Sure it was more difficult for a woman be a successful writer in earlier days – but no more difficult than it would have been in those times for a man to take up knitting or have a career as a midwife: it was not the cultural norm, simple as that. There is nothing more naïve than the current academic practice of critiquing the past with a postmodern eye, and seeing historical cultural norms as evidence of “repression”.

But to say that “the patriarchy” made it impossible in the past for a woman driven by genius or strong talent to find the necessary pen and paper is simply absurd. Are you suggesting that women were not even taught to read and write? Or that since they were denied a university education, poetry was impossible. University education has never been a sine qua non for poetry, even for men. A strong argument could be made for the opposite view (which I hold), that university is more likely to cripple a poet than make one. And if truly valuable work had been suppressed at the time, it would have found the light of day eventually. Why? because things of beauty are rarely expunged from existence by human beings – by men or women – purely on the basis of gender-expectation.
  #9  
Old 06-05-2009, 09:36 PM
David Landrum's Avatar
David Landrum David Landrum is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Grand Rapdis, Michigan, USA
Posts: 2,427
Default

I looked back through the issues of Lucid Rhythms and found in the issues that have gone on-line:

August 2007: 11 Men, 14 Women
December 2007: 17 Men, 6 Women
April 2008: 15 Men, 11 Women
August 2008: 21 Men, 10 Women
December 2008: 16 Men, 9 Women
April 2009: 15 Men, 14 Women

I can say--and I hope people will believe me--that gender bias plays no role whatesoever in the selection of poems for the magazine. Poetic merit is the sole guide. It seems I get more submissions from men. Do more men write poetry than women?

dwl
  #10  
Old 06-05-2009, 09:50 PM
Quincy Lehr's Avatar
Quincy Lehr Quincy Lehr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 4,812
Default

Well, I can speak to this from a slush-pile reader's perspective (and Anna crunched the numbers on a Barefoot Muse issue a couple of years back). The disparity is on the submissions end. Looking at the Raintown since 1 May, here are the stats.

Number of submissions by men: 43
Number of poems submitted: 155
Number of poems accepted: 8
Percentage of submitted poems by men accepted: 5.2%

Number of submissions by women: 14
Number of poems submitted: 48
Number of poems accepted: 3
Percentage of submitted poems by women accepted: 6.3%

(This excludes a couple of poems Anna's deliberating over and two submissions I haven't processed yet--both of which came in today.)

The point being that we've been picking based on what we perceive as the quality of what comes in, and even though, on the percentages, women are doing slightly better, it's still rather male-orientated. But if we don't get the subs, what can we do? If you want a more gender-balanced Raintown--send us some stuff!

Quincy
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,411
Total Threads: 15,756
Total Posts: 204,605
There are 104 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online