Archives for posts with tag: Women Authors

fatalhistory

Poets Suzanne Lummis, Laurel Ann Bogen, and Linda Albertano (shown left to right in the photo above taken at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles) will perform on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. There will be poetry slung. There will be dancing. There will be props and costumes! One night only!

WHAT: Nearly Fatal Women (Linda Albertano, Laurel Ann Bogen, and Suzanne Lummis).

WHEN: Friday, June 20, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

TICKETS: $12 ($7 for seniors) at eventbrite.com

For more about this performance poetry troupe, visit nearlyfatalwomen.com.

Photo by Penelope Torribio. Visit the photographer at penelopetorribio.com.

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33 UMBRELLAS
by Jennifer K. Sweeney

In your sleep
the year advanced.
Perhaps in a Japanese rainstorm

33 umbrellas opened at precisely
the same moment—
a ballooning

then a click—
and you were allowed further.
Go with your blue apples

falling from the night-trees.
Go with your muddled
light.

Carve impossible faces
in the pumpkin.
Scoop a net of seeds—

one for the trouble you’ve caused,
the rest for the trouble
you wish you caused.

The skeletons wear marigolds
for eyes.
They let you pass,

lantern-hearted, happy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of two poetry collections Salt Memory (Main Street Rag, 2006), available at Amazon.com, and How to Live on Bread and Music (Perugia Press, 2009), available at Amazon.com. Visit the author at jenniferksweeney.com.

IMAGE: “Umbrellas” by xetobyte, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. View xetobyte’s art at deviantart.com.

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ADVICE TO A YOUNG WRITER
by Mathias Jansson

Write a book
First live, then write
Fulfill your mission
Immortalize your name
I will!
Now for the way
First a hopeful race
Wear spectacles
Lineal aerial architecture
An hour’s conversation
Set the enthusiasm
Fill the pod of futurity

SOURCE: “Advice to a young writer” by Mathias Jansson is based on page 1 of Civil War Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott. Find the book online at gutenberg.org.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has been published in both Swedish and English speaking literature and visual poetry magazines as Lex-ICON, Eremonaut, RetortMagazine, Anatematiskpress, Presens, and Quarter After #4. Visit him at his homepage or Amazon author page.

Image“I must tell you how I work. I don’t have my novel outlined and I have to write to discover what I am doing…I don’t know so well what I think until I see what I say; then I have to say it over again.”

FLANNERY O’CONNOR

PHOTO: Flannery O’Connor’s desk and typewriter in her bedroom at Andalusia, her farm near Milledgeville, Georgia. Photo by Susana Raab for the New York Times, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The above photo appears in an article by Lawrence Downes in the New York Times travel section (“In Search of Flannery O’Connor,” February 4, 2007). Find the article at this link. Here is an excerpt, where Downes describes visiting O’Connor’s writing room:

There is no slow buildup on this tour; the final destination is the first doorway on your left: O’Connor’s bedroom and study, converted from a sitting room because she couldn’t climb the stairs [O’Connor was suffering from lupus]. Mr. Amason stood back, politely granting me silence as I gathered my thoughts and drank in every detail.

This is where O’Connor wrote, for three hours every day. Her bed had a faded blue-and-white coverlet. The blue drapes, in a 1950′s pattern, were dingy, and the paint was flaking off the walls. There was a portable typewriter, a hi-fi with classical LPs, a few bookcases. Leaning against an armoire were the aluminum crutches that O’Connor used, with her rashy swollen legs and crumbling bones, to get from bedroom to kitchen to porch.

There are few opportunities for so intimate and unguarded a glimpse into the private life of a great American writer. Mr. Amason told me that visitors sometimes wept on the bedroom threshold.

 

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“The serious writer has always taken the flaw in human nature for his starting point, usually the flaw in an otherwise admirable character. Drama usually bases itself on the bedrock of original sin, whether the writer thinks in theological terms or not. Then, too, any character in a serious novel is supposed to carry a burden of meaning larger than himself. The novelist doesn’t write about people in a vacuum; he writes about people in a world where something is obviously lacking, where there is the general mystery of incompleteness and the particular tragedy of our own times to be demonstrated, and the novelist tries to give you, within the form of the book, the total experience of human nature at any time. For this reason, the greatest dramas naturally involve the salvation or loss of the soul. Where there is no belief in the soul, there is very little drama. ” FLANNERY O’CONNOR

SOURCE: The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor, available at Amazon.com.

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FLANNERY O’CONNOR TALKS ABOUT HER WRITING HABITS:

I’m a full-time believer in writing habits…You may be able to do without them if you have genius but most of us only have talent and this is simply something that has to be assisted all the time by physical and mental habits or it dries up and blows away…Of course you have to make your habits in this conform to what you can do. I write only about two hours every day because that’s all the energy I have, but I don’t let anything interfere with those two hours, at the same time and the same place.”

Illustration: Tin House, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Flannery O’Connor reads her short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” in a live performance from 1959.

ImageToday we celebrate the birth of one of the all-time greatest of the great writers — Flannery O’Connor, born in Savannah, Georgia, on March 25, 1925. Author of two novels — Wise Blood (1952), which she holds on her lap in the photo above, and The Violent Bear It Away (1960) — and 32 short stories, O’Connor created a lasting body of work in her short life (she died 50 years ago — in 1964 at age 39).

Kurt Vonnegut said of her, “The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor. She broke practically every one of my [writing] rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.” (For the record, Vonnegut’s first rule of writing is: “Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.” Read the complete list at this link.)

Here’s a favorite Flannery O’Connor quote: “I often ask myself what makes a story work, and what makes it hold up as a story, and I have decided that it is probably some action, some gesture of a character that is unlike any other in the story, one which indicates where the real heart of the story lies. This would have to be an action or a gesture which was both totally right and totally unexpected; it would have to be one that was both in character and beyond character; it would have to suggest both time and eternity.”

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PEAR TREE (Excerpt)
by HIlda Doolittle

Oh white pear
your flower tufts,
thick on the branch,
bring summer and ripe fruits
in their purple hearts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961) attended Bryn Mawr, as a classmate of Marianne Moore, and later the University of Pennsylvania where she befriended Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. She travelled to Europe in 1911, and remained abroad for the rest of her life. Through Pound, she  became a leader of the Imagist movement. Some of her earliest poems gained recognition when published by Harriet Monroe’s  Poetry magazine.  American Poetry Review noted that ”…by the end of her career [Doolittle] became not only the most gifted woman poet of our century, but one of the most original poets…in our language.” (Learn more at poets.org.)

Painting: “Pear Blossom” by Patti Siehien, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Find the painting at fineartamerica.com.

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WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND
by Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.