The feminine encounter with beauty, love and self-sacrifice is typically depicted in a positive, nearly angelic light. However the feminine encounter with self-knowledge has often been depicted as a negative event, bringing the fall of man and worse: a disastrous ruination from the female’s lofty beatific birthright into ugly monstrous creatures who plague all of humanity. This denigration, seen repeatedly in literature from earliest myth to the latest social media headlines, is reductive, and serves to separate all genders in restrictive ways.
What if the feminine encountering knowledge, self and otherwise, could be an alchemical event that forged new ways of seeing for everyone? What if the energy of these grotesque creatures could actually be powerful enough to break down the walls that separate the genders?
Join us for a myth-shattering poetry workshop in which we explore the redemptive mode of embracing the "monstrous ugly" to unveil and broaden the scope of our own "monstrous selves"! Through apostrophe, ekphrasis and collaboration, we will break taboos and touch the seedy underbellies of our inner monsters & hyenas, put pressure on the political and personal divide, and discover what might emerge when we - men and women alike - bring together our collective feminine selves and use poems as tools to claw our way out of cliché, reclaim our power, and find value in the refuse left in our uprising.
THIS BESPOKE RETREAT IN THE BEAUTIFUL CATSKILL MOUNTAINS IS CUSTOM-DESIGNED TO REPLENISH YOUR CREATIVE SPIRIT. A DELICIOUS, LEISUIRELY LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED, AS WELL AS GENEROUS TIME FOR A NATURE WALK, MEDITATION, AND CONVERSATION.
Amazing, amazing, glorious beauty. Via Indiewire, here is Dan Sickles' lush, primeval, sensuous film interpretation of my short poem "I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast," shot on location in Puerto Rico. And huge thanks to the good folks at Motionpoems & VIDA: Women in Literary Arts for making this happen!
This is so cool. The new paperback version of 'I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast' is ranked in the 6,000s at Amazon and #5 in Love Poetry. I had no idea poetry books could rank so well. People must be hungry for star meat and syrup-covered stacks of sky! :) Long live poetry!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman
When I was a kid, I used to love to sit at the top of my jungle gym and watch the goings on of the neighborhood. My fence cornered two others, and I could see four more backyards besides. I knew which couples got along and which were fighting. I knew where dogs hid their bones. I watched swimming pools dug and gardens planted and other kids swinging so high I thought they wanted to marry the sky. I could tell you what time each family ate dinner and when the moms made their kids sit down to homework. I was a human calendar that could have divulged the events of many days before they even unfolded.
Then one fall, shortly before Thanksgiving, something unexpected happened: A man in my neighborhood became enamored with baking muffins—blueberry, banana nut, ginger lemon, chocolate chip, jalapeño cheddar, onion walnut—you name it, he baked it. Oh how he came alive! This once very ordinary, nondescript man, who I’d never bothered to watch much before, was now lit with the fire of passion. He was radiant as he stood over the stovetop in his apron and mitts, face aglow with oven light and infatuation, waiting for his muffins to cool. He was radiant and happy, and he made others happy too. Neighborhood children began to hang around his yard and driveway to watch him bag up muffins at his worktable in the garage. Women stopped by with casseroles in hopes of receiving muffins in return. Everyone offered help when they saw him repairing a board in his fence or trimming back a hedge. The bottom line is that this man adored muffins, and through loving muffins he loved the world and the world loved him back.
Because it was close to Thanksgiving, I began to associate my muffin-baking neighbor with the concept of gratitude, and it occurred to me then, as it does now, that there are few greater ways to express thanks for these lives we have been given than to find something that thrills us and to spend our time doing it.
When we brim, when we shimmer, when we glow with love for something, anything, we become conduits of magic, and we ourselves become gifts to the world. I don’t care if it’s muffins or poetry or nursing or duct tape art or spelunking or carving idyllic picnic scenes into egg shells; when we love what we do, that love becomes an elixir for all who are lucky enough to know us. We are not only expressing our appreciation for our lives; we are giving others reason to be thankful for us too.