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Poets&Writers Writing Craft essay: Body in the Mirror

Here is "Body in the Mirror"

 

"...it took participation in grassroots feminism and reading great poets (for me, Gertrude Stein and Walt Whitman) before I could find my belly with my hands and write that it was soft to the touch."

 

It is the first in a series of four essays that will be appearing each Monday at the Poets&Writers website.  This one is about a writing exercise that helps writers be more connected to the bodies in their work.  It's also a story about how I started writing the essays and poems in Belly Songs: in celebration of fat women.

 

 

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11 Questions about Martha Moody at Killing the Buddha

I love these author questions by Briallen Hopper at Killing the Buddha. They were posted for Valentine's Day, which is so lovely!  Killing the Buddha: 11 Questions About Martha Moody

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Be The Day

To mark the anniversaries we are all facing, I just revised and added a little a passage from my paper journal of just over a year ago. Leafing through it, I see that I was writing there last year more than I remembered. Here it is:


The wildness of loneliness. The tenacity of communion. Solomon Stoddard thought that communion was a converting ordinance. Jonathan Edwards lost his church over an attempt to reserve it to those who could give spoken testimony of experiences of grace.


Once I took communion with my beloved friend Lynne at MCC San Francisco, where she -- who has studied, thought, and noted so much about that church's history, -- told me, they had decided that anyone could come with those they love and be held and be kissed, with the blood and the body, the bread and the wine.
I think of loaves and fishes, with fishes in their own worlds, own times, spawning upriver, pulled by the smell of the young of their kind slowly maturing in the mud of the banks. Let me love that well. Let me be pulled by the smell.

 

The prayer of the journal is holding.

 

My feelings surge. I need to contain them, to limit, and also to release, uncover, and dance with my ambitions, fears, loneliness, grief, longings, joy. Bodily soundness and weakness or not. Telling stories have saved me more than once, including my telling of them, and will save me again..


Long, gold socks I gave my mother that she gave me back. The women of the arthritis aqua aerobics class. Old women, happy to see me. Now, a year later, Maura, the last one to help and hug me, gone.
Praise the day. Do the work. Be in the day.

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Judith Katz Reviews Martha Moody in Lambda Literary Review

Judith Katz wrote a wonderful review of Martha Moody in Lamda Literary Review. "Susan Stinson's substantial and delicious historical novel, Martha Moody, has been reissued by Small Beer Press, and it is certainly cause for celebration."  It's also a great history of lesbian and feminist publishing.  

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