Even though April is National Poetry Month, Women’s History Month has some pretty spicy poetry goings-on of its own, one of which involves my tween-dream heroine, Sylvia Plath.
In sixth grade, I picked up The Bell Jar at the little neighborhood library down the street from my city bus stop, just a few blocks over from my junior high school. It was an unauthorized detour, but I’d made my peace with taking the chance of getting caught coming home late so I could discover new worlds among the library stacks. I’d clicked with the Esther Greenwood immediately, and I unwittingly learned more about myself through this book than anything else I’d experienced otherwise. Sylvia Plath became to me what I feel like Harry Potter/Hermione might be for my friends (I think I get it now, guys…sorry).
From about the age of 12 to sometime in my mid-20s, I probably would have crowed at the idea of Plath’s family ostensibly liquidating her estate. It was recently reported on Lit Hub that Plath’s personal effects are going up for auction, put forth for sale by her daughter Frieda. The comments sections on Facebook and Twitter were lit up by many an indignant reader. The responses ran the gamut of “How dare!!!” to “It always comes down to money,” but ultimately people forget that it’s Frieda’s choice. She doesn’t owe anyone anything. They’re just things, in the end. And they’re her mother’s things at that. Plath’s very publicly consumable death has persisted and remains commodified to the surprise of precisely no one.
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In opportunity news, Kima Jones—luminary, writer, tweet genius, and founder of Jack Jones Literary Art—put out her call for applicants for The Jack Jones writer’s retreat being held this fall. This retreat (exclusively for women of color!) promises to be a transformative time for artists to really dig into their work and get some beautiful writing done. Several fully-funded fellowships, many including a travel stipend, are available and applications are due April 1st. It’s a great opportunity to network with other writers and editors to learn more about the industry as a working and publishing artist.
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Other March things:
- 2018 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (Open to poetry collections written in English by Black writers of African descent who have not had a full-length book of poetry published by a professional press)
- Cherry Picks debuts at SXSW. I’m really looking forward to this review aggregator and how it can potentially reshape how we view film criticism. For now you can subscribe to their newsletter to get updates on newly reviewed films and other related news. Look, I found something that wasn’t related to poetry 😉
- Poet Shauna Barbosa’s new book Cape Verdean Blues is out now, and I can’t wait to get my copy in the mail. I’ve already gotten a little taste and I look forward to devouring the rest.
- The New York Times posts obituaries of women they’ve Overlooked over the past 167 years. Better late than never? I’ll spoil the first and let you guess the rest: the first honoree is Ida B. Wells. And she damn well deserves the recognition.
Don’t forget that you can submit work to lspmag, too! We are open year-round for submissions and want to hear from you.
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