Join me at the 5th annual New Hampshire Poetry Festival where I will be participating in two panels (details below).
Saturday, September 14, 2019
New England College
98 Bridge Street
Henniker, NH 03243
Challenging the Quintessential Motherhood Poem
CEI Building, Room 101
Panelists: Jennifer Martelli, Kyle Potvin, Marjorie Tesser, Cindy Veach
The earliest motherhood poems were paeans, odes often written by male poets about their mothers. Self-sacrifice, modesty, and other traditional “virtues” were lauded; mothers were discussed in highly sentimental terms, and motherhood itself deemed a time of unremitting happiness. Today’s poems about motherhood are more often written by mothers themselves. By revealing truths about motherhood, they subvert stereotypes and forge a new poetry of diverse experiences of mothering. The panel will read excellent poems, their own and others’, that discuss such subjects as physical aspects of motherhood, work of motherhood and how motherhood impacts on other work, boredom, frustration, and other negative emotions mothers were not supposed to have, and also poems that depict and celebrate the joys of mothering and mother love authentically. As is noted in Jennifer Militello’s article, “From the Maternal to the Mechanical” (APR May/June 2017), “America’s contemporary poets are now in a position where they must explore ways of writing about motherhood that can defy sentimentality and resist the cultural pressure to present motherhood mainly as a source of happiness.”
Is This the End of the Beginning? Or the Beginning of the End?
CEI Building, Room 102
Panelists: Jennifer Martelli, Dawn Paul, Marjorie Tesser, Cindy Veach
How do you get out of a poem? How do you write an ending that peels out of the driveway like a doomed lover? That drifts down like fog or gives a final firecracker pop? Is your poem linear—a narrative that tells a story with a beginning and an end? Is your poem circular—with no ending? There are many new, invented and traditional forms that lend themselves to specific line-count for endings (American Sonnet, ghazal, the “duplex”, sestina) but, how do you keep your poem from being too “tidy?” How do you guard against overwriting your ending? When is enough enough? When is enough too much? Panelists will address these questions, and more, by sharing their own techniques and craftsmanship, as well as their favorite poems with emphasis on endings. In addition, they will examine various kinds of endings and how they make the meaning and mood of the poem. This panel will end with a generous Q & A and attendees will receive a handout of prompts designed to focus on poem endings.