Jane Eaton Hamilton

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” – Lillian Hellman

Tag: A Public Space

“Wendy Xu on the Impossible Complexity of Immigrant Love”

Poet Wendy Xu over at Lit Hub and this passage about learning to parse literature:

“My father was my first poetry teacher in all of these ways—he paused to let us wonder together at the power of words. Why was this part so vivid and easy to picture in your head? Why did you cry at this part? Why did you fall in love with this phrase and repeat it over and over? Back then I was just happy to be spending time with my father, but the gift he gave me will last a lifetime.”

I can’t get it out of my head how helpful this training would be for a child who would later become a poet.

“Xu is the author of Phrasis (Fence, 2017, winner of the Ottoline Prize), and You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013). The recipient of a 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, her poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Boston Review, Poetry, A Public Space, and elsewhere, with fiction and essays appearing in BOMB and BuzzFeed. Born in Shandong, China, in 1987, she currently teaches in the Creative Writing MFA Program at Columbia University, and is poetry editor for Hyperallergic.”

Her poem, Notes for an Opening, is here.

The interview with her from which I pulled this quote is here.

The Forgotten Women Writers

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early sketch, unknown date: Jane Eaton Hamilton

I think of Vivian Maier and wonder who else is missing…

A.N. Devers has written a compelling article, Bette Howland: The Tale of a Forgotten Genius, for Lit Hub about re-discovering a prominent writer who fell to obscurity. Howland’s memoir published in 1974 came to light in a bin of used books, and it turned out that she had been much prized, had won a Guggenheim, an NEA grant, a MacArthur, and was friends with Saul Bellow.

“As for writing (your writing) I think you ought to write, in bed, and make use of your unhappiness. I do it. Many do. One should cook and eat one’s misery. Chain it like a dog.” Saul Bellow to Bette Howland

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