Writing about web page http://www.zoebrigley.com
This is just a note to say that I will no longer be using this blog. I have now moved over to my website and blog at zoebrigley.com
Writing about web page http://www.etchdance.org/etch_dance/Home.html
I have been meaning for a while to write about a dance company here in Pennsylvania called Etch Dance. I have been to see a few of their shows and I was really impressed by the choreography, much of which is inspired by literature – writers like Kate Chopin, Plath, Virginia Woolf, and Edwidge Danticat. The dances explore female identity and how to express different aspects of that psyche. What particularly struck me about the dances too was how they allow the female body to be athletic, muscular, strong in a way that is very female. Many of the shapes and poses reminded me of female dancers in art – the strong women of Paula Rego or Tamara de Lempicka.
(All the photos of the dancers below are publicity shots from their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/134406240544/photos/ ).
Writing about web page http://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Zoe-Brigley/dp/1852249307
Someone asked me recently about the repeated words that appear in Conquest, and I am posting my answer here. I recently created a Wordle to see exactly which words are repeated most in the book.
It is certainly true that repeated words like ‘garden,’ ‘window,’ ‘long,’ ‘flower,’ ‘never,’ and ‘dreams’ feature prominently in Conquest. I have always liked repetition in poetry: the sense that in reading an entire book you are circling round and round the same ideas. I think that’s why I chose to use the sestina form twice in this new book. You can find out more about the sestina on poets.org .
There are two versions of a double sestina form in Conquest – I say versions because each stanza has fourteen lines like a sonnet, and fourteen repeated words, so it’s a hybrid form different to those used by Swinburne and Sidney . The first (found in the ‘Conquest’ section from p. 35 to 43) uses the words (with variations in brackets):
*plot (plotted, plotting);
*land (onland, Disneyland, scrubland, dreamlands, garlands, land-burning);
*fat (fattening, fatten, fattened, fattest);
*gold (golden, golden eyes, gilds);
*graph (cartography, sonograph, autograph, geography, photographs, choreography);
*man or men (bondsmen, woman, ottoman, kinsman, women, workmen, figure, cattlemen);
*cell (sells, call);
*script (description, inscription, conscripts, scripture);
*bear or bore (harbour, harbouring, born, borne);
*thing (nothing, anything, everything, something);
*shore (onshore, shore up, shoreline, sure, lakeshore);
*colony (colonists, colonies, colonise);
*and one wild card for words that had something to do with the body: most often I use ‘mouth’, but I also use ‘teeth’, ‘burst’, ‘tongues’, ‘faces’, ‘lips’, ‘open’, ‘hair’, ‘touch’, ‘body’, and once I use the word ‘bereft’ which is an obvious cheat but was necessary for the poem.
There are words related to geography (land, earth, shore) and the civilizing of place (colony, plot). Some of the words relate to the greed of imperialism (gold, fat), and to the suffering that it causes (bear, cell). There is also a feeling in some of the words that the protagonists are trying to chart a course away from such an oppressive way of living (script, graph, thing). This is a physical journey too , as indicated by the bodily words in the wild card list.
The second version of a double sestina is ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’ sequence, and the repeated words (with variations in brackets) are:
*day (today, Sunday, daylight, weekday);
*plant (planted, plantations, replanted, transplanted, Jardin des Plantes, planting, pieplants);
*time (thyme, night-time, mistimed);
*flower (flowers, Mayflower, flour, fleurs, marigold, flowering, flowerbeds);
*sweet (sweetest, sweetcakes, sweetnesses, unsweetened, sweeten);
*wreck (wreckage, wrecked);
*out (outside, outed);
*and a wild card for words related to the senses: mainly I use ‘tongue,’ but on two occasions I use ‘eye,’ and once ‘marmalade.’
‘The Lady and the Unicorn’ is a poem about recuperation and healing. The epigraph from A Midsummer Night’s Dream reads: “It fell upon a little western flower, / Before milk-white, now purple with love’s wound.” There are repeated words related to growth (garden, plant, flower), and to obstacles that prevent growth (walls, wreck). Words related to the passage of time (time, day, year) indicate that this is a slow process, but there are rewards (sweet, the sensual wild card list) and possibilities of escape (window, out).
Writing about web page https://www.facebook.com/zoebrigley
This is just a note to say that zoebrigley.org is no more. The domain was somehow hijacked – apparently this is quite common. In the meantime, I have set up a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/zoebrigley and a new, improved website will be coming soon.
Copies of my new poetry collection Conquest arrived last week… Thanks again to the artist Victoria Brookland for allowing me to use her wonderful image Hawk on the front cover. There are also three pictures by Brookland inside the collection.
Writing about web page http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13514412-sexual-ideology-in-the-works-of-alan-moore
The collection on Alan Moore and sexual ideology is out now, and I have contributed an essay. See the contents below… I can’t wait to read the whole thing.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Introduction: The Polarizing of Alan Moore’s Sexual Politics
TODD A. COMER and JOSEPH MICHAEL SOMMERS 5
Part I: The “Low Form”: Moore and the Complex Relationships of the Comic Book Superhero
1. Libidinal Ecologies: Eroticism and Environmentalism in Swamp Thing
BRIAN JOHNSON 16
2. Green Love, Red Sex: The Conflation of the Flora and the Flesh in Swamp Thing
MATTHEW CANDELARIA 28
3. When “One Bad Day” Becomes One Dark Knight: Love, Madness, and Obsession in the Adaptation of The Killing Joke into Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight
JOSEPH MICHAEL SOMMERS 40
4. “Don’t laugh, Daddy, we’re in love”: Mockery, Fulfillment, and Subversion of Popular Romance Conventions in The Ballad of Halo Jones
KATE FLYNN 52
5. The Love of Nationalism, Internationalism and Sacred Space in Watchmen
KARL MARTIN 65
Part II: The Vicious Cabaret of Love, Sexual Desire … and Torture
6. Theorizing Sexual Domination in From Hell and Lost Girls Jack the Ripper versus Wonderlands of Desire
ZOE BRIGLEY-THOMPSON 76
7. “Do you understand how I have loved you?” Terrible Loves and Divine Visions in From Hell
MERVI MIETTINEN 88
8. Body Politics: Unearthing an Embodied Ethics in V for Vendetta
TODD A. COMER 100
9. The Poles of Wantonness: Male Asexuality in Alan Moore’s Film Adaptations
EVAN TORNER 111
10. Reflections on the Looking Glass: Adaptation as Sex and Psychosis in Lost Girls
NICO DICECCO 124
Part III: Victorian Sexualities and the Ecriture Feminine: Women Writing and the Women of Writing
11. “Avast, Land-Lubbers!” Reading Lost Girls as a Post-Sadeian Text
K. A. LAITY 138
12. The Undying Fire: Erotic Love as Divine Grace in Promethea
CHRISTINE HOFF KRAEMER 150
13. “It came out of nothing except our love”: Queer Desire and Transcendental Love in Promethea
PAUL PETROVIC 163
14. Self-Conscious Sexuality in Promethea
ORION USSNER KIDDER 177
15. I Remain Your Own: Epistolamory in “The New Adventures of Fanny Hill”
LLOYD ISAAC VAYO 189
Afterword: Disgust with the Revolution
ANNALISA DI LIDDO 201
Selected Bibliography 207
About the Contributors 217
Abbott, Megan (2002) The Street was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).
Allen, Virginia M. (1983) The Femme Fatale: Erotic Icon (New York: The Whitson Publishing Company).
Beeler, Karin (2006) Tattoos, Desire and Violence: Marks of Resistance in Literature, Film and Television (Jefferson NC: McFarland).
Biesen, Sheri Chinen (2004) ‘Manufacturing Heroines: Gothic Victims and Working Women in Clasic Noir Films’ in Film Noir Reader 4: The Crucial Films and Themes, ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini (New Jersey: Limelight): 161-173.
--. (2005) Blackout: World War Two and the Origins of Film Noir (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press).
Boozer, Jack (1999) ‘The lethal femme fatale in the noir tradition,’ Journal of Film and Video 51.3/4: 20-35.
Bould, Mark (2005) Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City (London and New York: Wallflower).
Cassuto, Leonard (2009) Hard-boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories (New York: Columbia University Press).
Chopra-Gant, Mike (2006) Hollywood Genres and Postwar America: Masculinity, Family and Nation in Popular Film and Film Noir (London and New York: IB Tauris).
Corey, William (1999) ‘Girl Power: Female Centered Neo-Noir’ in Film Noir Reader 2, ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini (New York: Limelight): 311-327.
Diapaolo, Marc (2011) War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film (Jefferson NC: McFarland).
Doane, Mary Ann (1987) The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s (Bloomington and Indianapolis IN: Indiana University Press).
--. (1991)Femme Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis(London and New York: Routledge).
Evans, Caroline (2007) Fashion at the Edge (New Haven CT: Yale University Press).
Farber, Stephen (1999) ‘Violence and the Bitch Goddess’ in Film Noir Reader 2, ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini (New York: Limelight): 45-55.
Fay, Jennifer and Justus Nieland (2010) Film Noir: Hard Boiled Modernity and the Cultures of Globalization (London and New York: Routledge).
Feasey, Rebecca (2009) ‘Neo-Noir’s Fatal Woman: Stardom, Survival and Sharon Stone’ in Neo-noir, ed. Mark Bould, Kathrina Glitre and Greg Tuck (London and New York: Wallflower).
Flory, Dan (2010) Philosophy, Black Film, Film Noir (University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press).
Forter, Greg (2000) Murdering Masculinities: Fantasies of Gender and Violence in the American Crime Novel (New York and London: New York University Press).
Hollinger, Karen (1996) ‘Film Noir, Voice-over, and the Femme Fatale’ in Film Noir Reader, ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini (New York: Limelight): 243-260.
Irwin, John T. (2006) Unless the Threat of Death is Behind Them: Hard-boiled Fiction and Film Noir (Baltimore MD: John Hopkins University Press).
James, Dean (1998) ‘Interview with Sara Paretsky’ in Deadly Women: The Woman Mystery Reader’s Indispensible Companion, ed. Jan Grape, Dean James and Ellen Nehr (New York: Connell and Graf Publishers): 287-290.
Kinsman, Margaret (1995) ‘A Question of Visibility: Paretsky and Chicago’ in Women Times Three: Writers, Detectives, Readers, ed. Kathleen Gregory Klein (Bowling Green OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press): 15-28.
Maxfield, James F. (1996) The Fatal Woman: Sources of Male Anxiety in American Film Noir, 1941-1991 (Madison/Teaneck: Farleigh Dickenson University Press).
Menon, Elizabeth (2006) Evil by Design: The Creation and Marketing of the Femme Fatale (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois).
Orr, Stanley (2010) Darkly Perfect World: Colonial Adventure, Postmodernism, and American Noir (Columbus OH: Ohio State University Press).
Phillips, Gene D. (2000) Creatures of Darkness: Raymond Chandler, Detective Fiction and Film Noir (Lexington KT: University Press of Kentucky).
Pronzoni, Bill (1998) ‘Women in the Pulps’ in Deadly Women: The Woman Mystery Reader’s Indispensible Companion, ed. Jan Grape, Dean James and Ellen Nehr (New York: Connell and Graf Publishers): 17-19.
Reddy, Maureen T. (1988) Sisters in Crime: Feminism and the Crime Novel (New York: Continuum).
Richardson, Michael (2010) Otherness in Hollywood Cinema (New York and London: Continuum).
Spicer, Andrew (2002) Film Noir (Harlow: Longman).
Telotte, J.P. (2004) ‘Voices from the Deep: Film Noir as Psychodrama’ in Film Noir Reader 4: The Crucial Films and Themes, ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini (New Jersey: Limelight): 145-159.
Wager, Jans B. (2005) Dames in the Driver’s Seat: Rereading Film Noir (Austin TX: University of Texas Press).
Ward, Elizabeth (1999) ‘The Unintended Femme Fatale: The File on Thelma Jordan and Pushover’ in Film Noir Reader 2, ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini (New York: Limelight): 129-136.
Writing about web page http://nvwn.wordpress.com/
(Part of the NVWN newsletter).
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, people up and down the East Coast are left in awe at the incredible power of the wind and sea. Apart from the hurricane, there have been tornadoes, even an earthquake, and one can’t help feeling humbled at the chaos produced, worthy of a disaster movie.
Environmental destruction and ecological balance are at the heart of Neil Astley’s anthology_Earth Shattering_, which brings together over 200 poems to celebrate the natural world, lament its corruption, and consider how it might be preserved. When it comes to the power of nature and the possibility of apocalypse, however, one poem particularly struck me.
Working out of genres that he calls ‘Alternative Realism’ and ‘European Darkness,’ the Irish poet Matthew Sweeney imagines the breakdown of the civilized world in ‘Zero Hour’ (http://www.cstone.net/~poems/twoposwe.htm). As oil reserves slowly run low in this frightening, new society, Sweeney imagines cars left useless on the roadside and people attacking one another for the most basic goods. Sweeney’s scenario is one that we all doubtfully envision at times of crisis, and his final question is chilling:
Writing about web page https://www.facebook.com/nvwritersnetwork
The world is still coming to terms with the massacre on the island of Utøya in Norway. Reading accounts of the horror by young people like Emma Martinovic in The Guardian is moving and thought-provoking: we ask ourselves, how would we respond in the face of such brutality?
Poets have often tried to make sense of inhuman and barbaric acts of murder. For example, the poem `Psychopath’ by the British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, or Carolyn Forché’s remarkable prose poem, `The Colonel,’ which presents a brutal Latin American dictator: “The colonel returned with a sack that he used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this.”
Perhaps the most poignant, however, is poetry of the survivor, the poetry of those who mourn for the lost and seek a new future. Take Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno’s collection Slamming Open the Door written after her daughter, Leidy, was brutally murdered in 2003. Bonanno writes of her precarious existence after the event in the poem `Ice Skating’:
we skate way far over in the distance,
two pitiable lurchers
where the surface is wafery thin
and the light is bad,
where no one would choose to skate
had God not pointed an icy,
and said, There.