Celebrating Poet & Writer Emily Brontë on the 200th Anniversary of Her Birth

The identity of this picture is disputed; sources disagree on whether this image is of Emily or of her sister Anne. Public Domain.

“She should have been a man – a great navigator. Her powerful reason would have deduced new spheres of discovery from the knowledge of the old; and her strong imperious will would never have been daunted by opposition or difficulty, never have given way but with life. She had a head for logic, and a capability of argument unusual in a man and rarer indeed in a woman… impairing this gift was her stubborn tenacity of will which rendered her obtuse to all reasoning where her own wishes, or her own sense of right, was concerned.” Constantin Héger, teacher of Charlotte and Emily during their stay in Brussels, on a daguerreotype dated c. 1865



All Hushed and Still Within the House

All hushed and still within the house;
⁠Without, all wind and driving rain;
But something whispers to my mind,
⁠Wrought up in rain and wailing wind:
Never again? Why not again? Never again;
⁠Memory has power as well as wind.

But the hearts that once adored me
⁠Have long forgot their vow;
And the friends that mustered round me,
⁠Have all forsaken now.

‘Twas in a dream revealed to me,
⁠But not a dream of sleep;
A dream of watchful agony,
⁠Of guilt that would not weep.

excerpt from The Complete Poems of Emily Brontë edited by C.W. Hatfield, forward by Irene Taylor


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

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Whitney Greenaway: A Poet’s Take on Letting Go; Poetry/Writing Contests; Resource on poetry contests with June deadlines

“Come sleep with me: We won’t make Love, Love will make us.” Julio Cortázar



The Cortázar quote is apropos of nothing except that I like his work and thought of that line (so fabulous!) after hearing this last evening on a PBS Brief But Spectacular Take on letting go by the new-to-me poet, Whitney Greenway. Sometimes the mind takes a strange turn on things. I’m getting old.  Anyway … THIS is the only piece of information I found online about her.  I’ll let her piece speak for itself except to say that I like it but have to add that sometimes we women disappoint men as well. The transcript is HERE.


HEADS-UP:

  • This is last-minute but it might work for you if you’re interested and you have something ready to submit: Boston Review’s Annual Poetry Contest closes tonight.  You can submit online or via snail mail, which must be postmarked June 1.  $20 entry fee. $1,500 cash award and publication in Boston Review. Details HERE.
  • THE MASTERS REVIEW, A Platform for Emerging Writers offers a list of fourteen literary magazines and contests with June deadlines HERE.
  • And in from Poet, Editor and Founder of Diaphanous e-Journal, Krysia Jopek“A mix of news / update: instead of a full-length journal of Diaphanous as in 2017, we are shifting gears to “diaphanous micro”: an e-journal of literary and visual art. Each micro issue will feature the work of one artist, often in more than one genre. Stay tuned! diaphanous 2.1 should be launched within the next two weeks! Thank you for all of those involved. It’s been lovely to collaborate with some of the writers and visual artists to be featured. There will be an interview with the artist included in each issue after their poetry, micro/flash fiction, art; links to all their books and some commentary about the work included. The first artist/writer to be featured is J Karl Bogartte; second, Francine Witte.”  Diaphanous Press facebook page and website.
  • From Kallisto Gaia Press team member, writer/journalist Tony Burnett: “Let’s get busy writing. Two new Summer Writing Contests Antonio Ruiz-Camacho judges in Fiction. Carrie Fountain judges in Poetry. $1500.00 in prizes!”

RELATED:

Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

“#MeToo: rallying against sexual assault and harassment, a women’s poetry anthology” edited by Deborah Alma; “Persephone’s Daughters,” empowering readers and writers who’ve experienced gendered abuse

Will be out on March 8. Pre-order HERE.



#MeToo Anthology, The Back Story

by Deborah Alma, Editor

The #MeToo (Fair Acre Press, March 8, 2018) anthology came straight out of a long thread on my Facebook page in October 2017, just as we were talking about the Harvey Weinstein allegations on the news and before I had even heard of the #MeToo campaign. I asked women friends of mine to add their name on the thread if they hadn’t experienced any form of sexual harassment in their lives and I was surprised to find that of the 200 women that started to share some of their stories , 2 or 3 told us that it had never happened to them. My surprise was not that there were so few, but that there were any women at all.

Of course over the years we have shared these stories with our friends, sisters, mothers, partners and sometimes with the police, or in court. It has been the water we swim in as women. But saying something publicly has always been difficult and brave. The words would stick in our throats, for so many reasons.

But something was released and given a space within social media. It was easy to add our voice to the rising shout of #MeToo. We felt the sisterhood. Many women were emboldened by this to share more difficult stories, more details.

I’m a poet, and an editor and someone suggested we collect these stories somehow and it was obvious to collect them as poems. It was what I could do.

I am very proud of this book, proud of the poets for sharing and for the courage in putting their names to their words. I have been amazed by the wonderful collaboration in its making; all of us women.  Jessamy Hawke is the daughter of an online friend and she came forward and offered to make new line drawings for the book, the striking cover was made for the book by my friend Sandra Salter and all the work of editing and publishing was donated. Jess Phillips MP gave us her introduction and it’s been endorsed by Amanda Palmer and Rachel Kelly amongst others.

I do recognise that it is a painful and difficult to read a great deal of the time. But when taken slowly, and with reading only what you can bear, I trust the reader will hear its rallying cry of anger and impatience. We have had enough.

© 2018, Deborah Alma

DEBORAH ALMA (Emergency Poet) is a UK poet, with an MA in Creative Writing, taught Writing Poetry at Worcester University and works with people with dementia and in hospice care. She is also Emergency Poet prescribing poetry from her vintage ambulance. She is editor of Emergency Poet-an anti-stress poetry anthology, The Everyday Poet- Poems to live by (both Michael O’Mara), and her True Tales of the Countryside is published by The Emma Press. She is the editor of #Me Too – rallying against sexual harrassment- a women’s poetry anthology (Fair Acre Press, March 2018). Her first full collection Dirty Laundry is published by Nine Arches Press (May 2018). She lives with her partner the poet James Sheard on a hillside in Powys, Wales.



POETRY FROM

#MeToo: rallying against sexual assault and harassment

 

Freeing the sources of light

Make friends with the light.

It’s been years

since you watched summer turn bad,

 

felt warm grass chafe your bare legs

and his old man’s fingers

trespass beneath the dress

 

you never wore again.

That hot summer

you dashed to your childhood garden

 

but the sun glared,

music buzzed from the wireless,

stung a secret place, the Everlies

 

and Elvis called heart:

always tender, baby,

always untrue.

 

And summers afterward

echoed bus rides to city parks

where he kissed your mouth,

 

fondled your arms.

The sun blurred, twinned

into headlamps,

 

pinned shadows on the wall-

but it was decades ago.

Welcome the light,

 

you don’t need a sky’s worth,

just a lodestar for the journey.

White roses in a glass vase,

 

candle-flame at dusk and the moon

in winter, carrying

its bowl of borrowed sun.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob      


Bitch

Always just within reach, it is the desk-drawer revolver

or the switch that is flicked when a woman says No

and means No and knows her own mind

and makes herself inconveniently clear;

 

it is the cocksure roar of boy used to his own way,

one more of the ones we warn each other about,

whose reputations we pass around like classroom

secrets, names itching from girl-hand to woman-hand,

 

the ones who just adore women, who say their wives

really don’t mind, the ones who wonder, aloud,

and publicly, what hitch qualifies you to claim

this space for your small fierce self,

 

the ones who will scrape back their chair, stand up

in the kitsch restaurant, tongue catching on the latch

of that single syllable,the alarmed door he will shoulder

open becoming the exit she will depart through. 

© 2018, Jane CommaneAssembly Lines (Bloodaxe, 2018)


Irish Twins

attic rain

the backyard swing

off kilter

We share an attic room. In the corner is an old double bed that smells and sags on one side. My side. Late at night I hear my heart beat. Loud. So loud he will hear it. He will think my heart is calling him up the attic stairs. His footsteps are heavy. He smells of old spice and cherry tobacco. My eyes shut tight. I know he is there. I feel his weight. Never on my side. Always on the side she sleeps. When the bed-springs sing their sad song I fly away. Up to the ceiling. My sister is already there. Together we hold hands. Looking down we see our bodies. We are not moving. We are as still as the dead.

© 2018, Roberta BearyContemporary Haibun Vol.14 (Red Moon Press)



PERSEPHONE’S DAUGHTERS

The Return of Persephone, c.1891 (oil on canvas) by Leighton, Frederic (1830-96); 203×152 cm; Leeds Museums and Galleries (City Art Gallery) U.K.; English, public domain

PERSEPHONE’S DAUGHTERS is published online, in print and in film. This magazine’s content is based on a mission to empower women / femme individuals who have experienced various forms of gendered abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, racial, verbal, etc), or other forms of degradation (harassment, catcalling, threats, etc).  Persephone’s Daughters welcomes all identities.

Online Sunday Stories feature personal accounts of those surviving abuse. There is also a film submission category that aligns with the mission. Accepted works are featured online on Film Fridays.  Of note is a post-election mini-issue, a writing and art collection by people who are negatively effected by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. Proceeds from the sales of that collection go to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, which provides services, legal help, and advocacy to unaccompanied immigrant children fleeing trafficking, conflict, poverty and more.

The editor’s say that submissions for Issue 5 will likely open in April. The theme is “Sexual Assault Awareness.” Sunday Stories and Film Fridays are currently open for submissions. Link HERE.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

Emily Dickinson First Book Award recognizes an American poet who is at least forty years of age


The Poetry Foundation announced recently that poet Kristen Tracy won its 2017 Emily Dickinson First Book Award for her manuscript Half-Hazard. The occasional prize (last awarded in 2012) is designed to recognize an American poet at least 40-years-old who has yet to publish a first collection of poetry. Tracy’s manuscript Half-Hazard, which was previously a finalist for the Yale Younger Poet Prize and a semi-finalist for the Walt Whitman Award and Sarabande Books’ Kathryn A. Morton Prize, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2018. The cash award is $10,000. Tracy was honored at the Pegasus Awards ceremony at the Poetry Foundation on June 12.

KRISTEN TRACY grew up in a small Mormon farming community in Idaho. She earned an MA in American Literature from Brigham Young University, an MFA from Vermont College, and a PhD in English from Western Michigan University. Her poems have appeared in more than two dozen literary journals.

“The Poetry Foundation is proud to recognize Kristen Tracy, whose manuscript was selected from more than one thousand submissions to this year’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award contest, and to partner with Graywolf Press in publishing these distinctive poems,” said Poetry Foundation President Henry Bienen.

In describing Half-Hazard, Jeff Shotts, Executive Editor at Graywolf Press, noted that it is “full of warnings and dangers, as well as wry observations, and also full of a kind of joy made sweeter by its being earned, lived, and perceived.” Shotts continued, “It’s a great honor for Graywolf to publish Tracy’s unusual and accomplished debut through our ongoing collaboration with the Poetry Foundation and the Emily Dickinson First Book Award. Discovering important new voices is at the heart of this award and the missions of both the Press and the Foundation.”

Tracy’s book, Half-Hazard, is scheduled to be published by Graywolf Press, fall  2018.  Meanwhile, you can visit Kristen Tracy’s website. She also writes for children, tweens and teens, so it’s a site full of cheer and color. Her Amazon page is HERE.


The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.

The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY