On Thursday, June 9th, at 4:15 pm (eastern), I'm thrilled to welcome poet and playwright, Joan Larkin to Woman-Stirred Radio. We'll be talking about her collection My Body : New and Selected Poems (Hanging Loose, 2007), as well as some new unpublished work slated for a new chapbook.
Larkin, who has taught at Brooklyn, Sarah Lawrence, Goddard, and New England Colleges, was Distinguished Visiting Poet at Columbia College, Chicago, and Wichita State University in Kansas. She was the publisher of Out & Out Books, a small
As Julie R. Enszer points out in her review of Larkin's collection, My Body, Joan Larkin's "work as a poet extends well beyond the gay and lesbian community," and of great importance, "her work has been published and nurtured by the small presses in the gay and lesbian community over the past thirty years" (Enszer, 2007).
Here, in the poem "Waste Not," Larkin excavates the trauma that batters the survivors of a beloved's death:
We're using every bit of your death.
We're making a vise of your mouth's clenching and loosening,
an engine of your labored breathing,
a furnace of your wide-open eyes.
We've reduced you to stock, fed you to the crowd,
banked the pearl of your last anger,
stored the honey of your last smile.
Nothing's left in your mirror,
nothing's floating on your high ceiling.
We're combing pockets, turning sleeves,
shaking out your bone and ash,
stripping you down to desire.
Your beloved has folded your house into his—
I'm wading the swift river, balancing on stones. (59)