24 February 2010

Elizabeth Oakes: The Luminescence of All Things Emily : Jerome Charyn: The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson

This Thursday, February 26th, at 5:00 (EST), Elizabeth Oakes visits Merry Gangemi on Woman-Stirred Radio.

In the foreword of Elizabeth Oakes's exquisite volume of poems, The Luminescence of all Things Emily, Oakes tells us that her book "sets Dickinson in the context of her life" (1), a simple statement that belies the astute compassionate insights Oakes achieves in this engrossing collection.

The poems are fun and light, dark and brooding, sorrowful, quirky, passionate, sexy, and emotionally intelligent: "It's the smallest things/ that linger about my sister" Oakes confides through the voice of Vinnie, Emily's younger sister, "the quiet stirring of her spoon/ and the click it made as she/ lay it carefully on the saucer,..." (42).

Poems engaging the long-standing love affair between Austin Dickinson and Mable Todd Loomis are powerful and erotic, fully embracing the credibility of this adulterous affair: 'Even when they were halfway around the world/ from each other, he could feel her in the dusk/ of evening, she him in the wind that blew her skirt" (20).

All of the poems that re-imagine Susan Huntington Dickinson seem to shimmer with love and desire; the kind of desire that fires up the mind: "When my strange sister-in-law/ wrote that she split the dew, I knew/ what she meant./ Unlike truth and beauty, we lay/ on the same pillow./ Like ice turning to water/ and then water to mist/ we were" (30). They honor the friendship between Emily and Sue by virtue of their openness and the obvious affection for these two friends: "I have learned more/ from her, Emily wrote/ about Sue, than from/ anyone except Shakespeare" (31).

So please tune in for this special interview beginning at 5:00 (est). Elizabeth Oakes won the 2004 Pearl Poetry Prize for her first book, The Farmgirl Poems. She holds a PhD from Vanderbuilt University and is the co-founder and co-editor, with Jane Olmstead, of the Kentucky Feminist Writer Series. Oakes's poems and her published scholarship can be found in, among others, Louisville Review, Women's Studies: an Interdiciplinary Journal, Room of One's Own, 24 Hours, and the Harvard Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.

This Thursday also features Jerome Charyn, author of The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, a decidedly daring book that examines Emily as a gun fully-loaded and ready to roll. If you ever wondered what ED would be like as a hot number about town, this is the book you'll want to read. Charyn is on at 4:15.

Jerome Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and has received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His other novel is Johnny One-Eye.He lives in Paris and New York.

17 February 2010

Mystery Writer Ellen Hart on Woman-stirred


This Thursday, February 18th, at 4:15 (eastern) Merry Gangemi welcomes mystery writer extrodinaire Ellen Hart to Woman-Stirred Radio.

Ellen is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, as well as a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction. Entertainment Weekly recently named her one of the "101 movers and shakers in the gay entertainment industry." For the last eleven years, Ellen has taught "An Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery" through the The Loft Literary Center, the largest independent writing community in the nation. Her newest novels are No Reservations Required, A Sophie Greenway Mystery (June 2005) and The Mortal Groove, A Jane Lawless Mystery (December 2007). Sweet Poison, the next Jane Lawless mystery, will be released in November of 2008. The Mortal Groove has been nominated for this year's Lambda Literary Award. Ellen lives in Minneapolis with her partner of 30 years (ellenhart.com).

So please tune in, this coming Thursday, February 18th at 4:15 (eastern) for a delightful interview with Ellen Hart. Want to join the conversation? The air studio phone number is 802.454.7762.

3 February 2010

Bywater Books on Woman-Stirred Radio

Please join Merry Gangemi as she welcomes the women of Bywater Books, Val McDermid and Kelly Smith, this Thursday, February 4th at 4:15 (EST).

Since the heyday of lesbian presses in the 1970s and 1980s, books written by and for lesbians continue to attract and nourish an enormously rich culture, if you will, of lesbian life. But how have things changed? Does the internet drive cultural production or drive it into the ground? What does all this mean for lesbian literary production in the 21st century? How have presses adapted? And what about the quality of the work? Have lesbian readers co-opted hetero-forms of romance novels or soft porn? Does lesbian trash bring in the bucks but demean and diminish the significance of lesbian literature? Is there a new sensibility in lesbian publishing?

These are just some of the questions publishers Val McDermid and Kelly Smith will talk about tomorrow, Thursday, Feb 4th at 4:15, on Woman-Stirred Radio.

So tune in, Central Vermont, to 91.1 fm or stream us live at WGDR.org