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Gurlesque: The New Grrly, Grotesque, Burlesque Poetics


Gurlesque: The New Grrly, Grotesque, Burlesque Poetics Cover

ISBN13: 9780981859149
ISBN10: 0981859143
Condition: Standard
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Poetry. The anthology GURLESQUE: THE NEW GRRLY, GROTESQUE, BURLESQUE POETICS brings together eighteen poets of wide-ranging backgrounds, united in their ability to push the aesthetic envelope through radical, femme, Third Wave strategies, and pairs them with visual artists who do the same. At the turn of the millennium, we are witnessing the emergence of a vital--perhaps viral--new strain of female poetics: the "Gurlesque," a term that describes writers who perform femininity in their poems in a campy or overtly mocking manner, risking the grotesque to shake the foundations of acceptable female behavior and language. Built from the bric-a-brac of girl culture, these works charm and repel: this work is fun, subversive, and important. Poets include Brenda Coultas, Brenda Shaghnessy, Cathy Park Hong, Matthea Harvey, and Sarah Vap.

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chicagopoetry, April 5, 2010 (view all comments by chicagopoetry)
Citing a poetic tendency that cropped up through publications such as Fence, Chain, and Tinfish, the editors, Arielle Greenberg (who coined the term in 2001) and Lara Glenum, says the Gurlesque anti-movement inspires radical change by "incorporating the grotesque and cruel with the spangled and dreamy." If there were a mission to the Gurlesque anthology, it would be to begin a conversation that uses the "collision or collusion of fantasy and ethics" to ultimately expose America as a "rape culture," and by doing so, to take back language, girlhood, and women's lives. But a mission would suggest a camp, clique or club, and the editors insist that this tendency has not become that.

So far I've read some critique, debate and discussion, but women, who seem to think that the book's biggest flaw is that it doesn't include more lesbian poetry, have so far been the dominant voices on the matter. My notion is that the book's intention is to challenge the stereotypes created by men, so the book is intended to be read and talked about by men.

This is a review for men, written by a man. Since I plan to cite many quotes here, naming every poet and poem referenced would be quite tedious; so in most cases I will merely include the number of the page that the quote is found on.

This collection of 18 "third wave feminist" poets is a spin-off of the hardcore poetry and performances of the late 80s, when Karen Finley invoked the wrath of Jesse Helms by smearing chocolate syrup all over her breasts, and Wendy O. Williams sang about getting "butt fucked" while chopping her guitar in half with a chainsaw, and Chicago poet Lorri Jackson wrote lines like "she did what her boyfriend wanted / and he finally left her for good / she cried rape for a few days / after giggling the knife up where it hurts"—and with those lines she opened for bands like Ministry and the Revolting Cocks. The militant Sister Serpents of the early nineties eventually found more power in sarcasm than in seriousness, and the next generation was transformed into Riot Grrls. It is from that platform this anthology admits it was launched.

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Product Details

Glenum, Lara
Saturnalia Books
Greenberg, Arielle
Greenberg, Arielle
American - General
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Poetry-A to Z
Publication Date:
7.90x6.00x.80 in. .95 lbs.

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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
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Poetry

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