Issue 35, Final Fringe

Tagged: VIDA

Metta Sáma on animals, wildness, and the unugly

by Metta Sáma, Anna Lena Phillips 06.12.2013

Metta Sáma’s prose-poem sequence, “No End to the Horror,” appeared recently in Fringe. Poetry editor Anna Lena Phillips interviewed her by email in May.

A certain literary journal used to have a line in its submission guidelines that read “No cat poems.” What are your feelings about cat-containing poems? How did le animal enter this poem?

Oh, I once heard that a certain popular writing professor forbade squirrel poems in his class, because he hated the sound of the word squirrel. I like squirrels. Animals are us & we are animal, yes? So, if we write about ourselves or our fellow humans, then we’re writing about animals. It’s quite silly for me to hear someone say that we can only focus on the human animal.

The poem began with le animal. I was so incredibly drawn to how humans and cats become interdependent and the rituals between cats and humans, the forming of bonds: who gets to be the Alpha and such. We humans laud the cat for its independence, yet so many of us (unwittingly) desire anticipating the needs of a cat (bringing them inside (domestication) from the outside (feralness), inserting ideas and desires into an animal’s body (the animal wants to... more »

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Out of the Red, Into the Read: Women Writers

by Adele Annesi 02.11.2011

There’s a lot of hype around recent VIDA figures on where women writers stand compared with men for books published and reviewed, which, according to the VIDA, are fewer for women in both categories. But the figures appear in a vacuum, with data absent in a host of areas, like how many women are writing, per medium, and how many are submitting what they write.

Here’s a straw poll on where women stand in various other areas of publishing:

  • Membership in writing organizations, particularly for networking: “We currently have 217 paid members; 94 are men, and 123 are women.” Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association board member and membership coordinator Dick Benton
  • College library acquisitions by author gender: “Out cataloger can’t run a report by sex of author. But we can do a sample from our on-order box, and count how many male/female authors for the books we’re going to order. I picked two letters (M and W) of titles from our on-order file, because they were the biggest. I got 12 female authors and 19 male authors.” Tunxis Community College librarian Carolyn Boulay
  • Women as writing clients and as success stories: “60% of my clients are women. I hear about their publishing successes, and it’s about equal,... more »
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