Hi, all! Long time no write, I know. The best of news: God in my Throat: The Lilith Poems has gone to print, so if you pre-ordered a copy when the order form and website first went active, you should be seeing it quite shortly! Thank you both for your patience, and for your support of my work and the small press willing to put it out. You warm the cockles of my heart.
In other fun news, because it coincided nicely with the topic of my MFA critical thesis (which was on the poet H.D.'s revisionist mythmaking in her book length poem Helen in Egypt), I decided to pitch something to the "Recycling Myths, Inventing Nations" 2010 conference at Aberystwyth University in Wales (call for paper and panel proposals here). I almost feel guilty for it not really being related to my librarian-type research, but not enough not to make my pitch and cross the hell out of my fingers that it gets picked up for the conference. It's my first ever paper proposal (usually I pitch presentations). See my abstract below:
Revisionist Myth-Making: Poets Reclaiming and Rewriting History
Colleen S. Harris
After a brief study of the classical foundation for contemporizing myth and some of the treatments of it that bring us to the present, the proposed paper examines how the American poet H. D. breaks from the traditional poetic epic by developing a female heroic character. The paper explores the importance and impact of H.D. writing a female hero out of the character of Helen of Troy to conquer manifestations of male archetypes such as the warrior, the lover, and the protector. Expanding from the exploration of H.D.’s revision of the Helen myth, the examination moves into the broader impact of modern poets creating revisionist mythologies by rewriting major (and minor) historical and mythological characters to reflect modern values and contemporary concerns. Other myth and history-modifying poets discussed in the context of the paper include Louise Glück, Michael Ondaatje, Claudia Emerson, Andrew Hudgins and Frank X. Walker. The paper concludes with a discussion of the impact of this revisionist mythmaking and alternative history-writing on perspectives of history, and the opportunities – and pitfalls - of contemporizing myth by infusing old mythologies with modern voice and contemporary issues.
So, here's to hoping I'm interesting enough to get tapped for Wales. (Do I get "exotic" points for being American? Doubtful, but I can hope.) Cross your fingers (and anything else you can cross) that they contact me!