2.02.2006

Lots more juicy -- I love the clerical error part.

I have two clerical errors of my own. A bit of background: every prize I have won has been because I read a catalog or guide or something and found an obscure award that no one knew to compete for any longer -- one was a prize in grad school that was usually given to English PhD-stream students, not MFA-stream students, and so it was nearly impossible to collect the prize money -- took months; the second was that in college, I entered the book collecting award and won third prize every year, got to go to honors day (they hated that I didn't really have a book collection, had just typed up a bibliography of the poetry books I had, but I was always the only entrant), and one year got two invites to honors day -- I assumed it was some sort of mistake, when much to my chagrin (I would have dressed up or invited a friend to come with me or arranged to go out to dinner), I ended up winning a poetry award as well.

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On another list, they are talking about "neglected poets" and of course it is not surprise that lots of these are women poets who work or worked outside of the academy. But -- aside from being the gap we are well aware of as far as ability to travel, promote and speak, or the difficulty of getting a teaching job as a woman versus as a man as recently as twenty years ago, or the idea that poetry by women is somehow alterior to canonical verse -- I wonder about this mere fact of not being a teacher -- I know that my publication record sparks up whenever I am "doing a lot for poetry" myself....

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this size six harem thing seems like a midstream comment -- did I miss something?

the blog entry is interesting, but her salesperson was dead wrong; size 8 is the sample size for most rtw lines -- i.e., the size eight is fitted to a real human being, and then all the sizes are cut from that size proportionally

also, as you know, Donna Karan and Liz Claiborne's fortunes are based on "size inflation" -- they cut their clothes larger, and women bought them because they were like "Hola! it is a six and it fits! I don't care that it makes me look like a poodle, I'm buying it" -- NO ONE ELSE SEES THE LABEL OR CARES!, ONLY YOU -- as recently as fifteen years ago (after an interim period in college I returned to the same size I was fifteen years ago) I was a four, and now I'm a 0, a 1, a 2 petite, a children's size, an "all these clothes are too big" size, with American clothes, but then I try on European clothes, and can't get my thighs into them. My vintage clothes are mostly size 10. Of course, my sister just tried on wedding gowns, and those don't have size inflation, so she was shocked that she wore a 10 or 12.

not to say the standard isn't for tiny women -- there is some evidence I read somewhere that the current six inch difference in average heights male and female in the west is the result of natural selection

what does this have to do with poetry? well, on the surface, I suppose there is a way in which we all seek to subvert or deflect the pressure to identify ourselves with any typical image because we are fabulous original artists; that said, I really enjoy some of the Anne Waldman, Maureen Owen, etc. writings including clothes talk in the east village in the 60s and 70s, and I know that now, you know, Eleanor Antin is more likely to wear a stuffed animal backpack matched to a sweater than others, Martha Ronk has well cut, tailored clothes, etc.; there's this oppt'y to have an aesthetic through and through

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