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Sweeping Beauty: Contemporary Women Poets Do Housework


Sweeping Beauty: Contemporary Women Poets Do Housework Cover


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Publisher Comments:

Thankless, mundane, and “never done,” housework continues to be seen as women's work, and contemporary women poets are still writing the domestic experience sometimes resenting its futility and lack of social rewards, sometimes celebrating its sensory delights and immediate gratification, sometimes cherishing the undeniable link it provides to their mothers and grandmothers. In Sweeping Beauty, a number of these poets illustrate how housekeeping's repetitive motions can free the imagination and release the housekeeper's muse. For many, housekeeping provides the key to a state of mind approaching meditation, a state of mind also conducive to making poems. The more than eighty contributors to Sweeping Beauty embrace this state and confirm that women are pioneers and inventors as well as life-givers and nurturers. “My fingers are forks, my tongue is a rose . . . / I turn silver spoons into rabbit stew / make quinces my thorny upholstery . . . / how else could the side of beef walk / with the sea urchin roe?” sings the cook in Natasha Sajé's ode to kitchen alchemy. “I love the notion that we can take our most poisonous angers, our most despairing or humiliated or stalemated moments, and make something good of them--something tensile and enduring,” says Leslie Ullman. Whether we are fully present in our tasks or “gone in the motion” of performing them, whether our stovetops are home to “stewpots of discontent” or grandmother's favorite jam, something is always cooking.

About the Author

Pamela Gemin is an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Her poetry collection Vendettas, Charms, and Prayers was a Minnesota Voices Project winner from New Rivers Press. She is editor and co-editor, respectively, of the poetry anthologies Are You Experienced? (Iowa 2003) and Boomer Girls (Iowa 1999).

Product Details

Gemin, Pamela
University of Iowa Press
Gemin, Pamela
Gemin, Pamela
Women's Studies
American - General
Anthologies (multiple authors)
American poetry
Women Authors
American poetry - 21st century
American poetry -- 20th century.
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 0.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Womens Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Anthologies

Sweeping Beauty: Contemporary Women Poets Do Housework Used Trade Paper
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Product details 212 pages University of Iowa Press - English 9780877459682 Reviews:
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