ISSUE 29 - JUNE 2024

Alexander Pope: “Expression is the dress of thought.”

Ursula Le Guin: “Am I wrong that a great many men would have no interest in discussing poetry by women? Their basic assumption being that poetry belongs essentially to men, they are content for us to marginalize ourselves.”

Laurie Stone: “Also, men pay girls well to beat up the other girls. Especially the girls who don’t care what anyone else thinks of them and successfully slip the noose of conventional femininity.”

Painted Ladies: “Perhaps female creative potential was always squandered because its full reception and nourishment was culturally impossible.” 

Lucille Clifton: “You can murder poems, I mean, I’ve done it, when you start thinking too hard in your own way and you start intellectualizing, because I think a poem has to come from intellect and intuition. If you get too much intuition you have sentimentality, which is not good, and with too much intellect, it has a whole lot of stuff that nobody knows nor cares. But a poem, it’s about a whole human and speaks to the whole human and it has to come from a whole human, so you involve all of yourself.”

Elina Katrin: “I believe that language is what ultimately binds us all, it’s the center of any relationship, no matter what shape or lack thereof that language takes.”

Judy Grahn: “I think that we can include beauty and love in our definitions of spirit, that it’s in fact essential to do that. Poets go right into those two things, and truth is in there as well. And consequently, some kind of spirit lives in the poem. The poem becomes a net of some kind, and goes all by itself into the world.”

Susan Griffin: “We are a community of those coming to speech from silence. This is an elementary fact we share—a history of illiteracy, suffocations, spiritual and literal, burnings of body and work, the weight of the unutterable surrounding all of our lives. And in no way can this shared history be separated from what we write today, nor from our love of each other’s voices.”

Claire Bateman: “As a writer, I’m always relieved when a project idea occurs to me, because the usual way I write seems by comparison so uncertain and incremental. When the slow labor of thought and feeling over time are themselves the project, you have to endure your own being in perhaps a more painful way.”

Adam Gopnik: “…masterpieces are inherently a little loony. They run on the engine of their own accumulated habits and weirdnesses and self-indulgent excesses. They have to, since originality is, necessarily, something still strange to us, rather than something we already know about and approve. What makes writing matter is not a story, cleanly told, but a voice, however odd or ordinary, and a point of view, however strange or sentimental.” The New Yorker, 10/22/07, “The Corrections”

Marla Morris: “To do something well, certain deals must be cut. To the exclusion of all else, art that is life, or life that is art—as Hermann Kurzke says—means making sacrifices. Distance and aloofness, a solitary life is necessary for writing and composing. Doing philosophy requires the same kind of sacrifice. To think, one must be able to live in solitude.” 

Although they are

Only breath, words
which I command
are immortal

—Sappho (tr. Mary Barnard)