Monday, March 08, 2010

C.D. Wright, Sina Queyras, and the female voice

We had the pleasure of hosting poet C.D. Wright a few days ago through the Concordia Writer's Read Series.

Terrific conversations were had (and lucky me was invited to be present) between Stephanie Bolster, Mary di Michelle, C.D. herself, Sina Queyras, and lovely accompanying guests.

C.D. is delightful. Open, closed, brash, sweet, and tequila to boot. My kind of woman. I do feel in sympatico with her, her and I being country gals (or at least hailing from those areas where calling one by their first and middle names is the norm). And, come on, we even have the same shoe size.

During the drink portion of the evening, after C.D.'s reading that transported us from locale to locale and opened us onto what I referred to earlier in the Master class she gave at Concordia University as her "uncertain intimacies," Sina raised the topic of the veiling of the female voice which got me thinking. Sina writes in her latest Bookthug publication (of entries from her blog for the last few years) entitled "Unleashed" (suggesting perhaps that we're "in for it," something of which I fancy), that women are "less likely to take public, intellectual risks, less likely to hold forth ideas in a room of men."

She encourages women writers, then, to be bold, take a stand in one's convictions and opinions and simply just do it, adding that one's opinion can be "nuanced over time." Agreed. Although, what often holds me back is--upon embracing my public space and engaging with an audience, say--I often am "unengaged" back. One must have a constant reserve of initiative then, I would think, to want to continue to "show" in the absence of response. I think there is a reason for this. I wonder if women are overwhelmed. I know I am. And the internet is a cess pool. Although, yes, I choose where to find resources, and how long to endure them, if it comes to that.

I admit I often think little of my voice, and I suddenly knew when speaking about the lack of female voice still constant today, that, given my past filled to the brim with such experiences of being silenced myself (to contemplate the scenarios have always brought resurgence of silenced thought), I chose to try to escape the silence... with more silence. Ironic? Well, I think my eyes have been adjusted "some" (New Brunswick speak). I think I'll take Sina's food for thought, and engage what I have always denied myself--vulnerability.


But, powerful stuff. I'm working on it.


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