Foursquare 2.6 and Female Poetry Magic


Tonight I made the very tardy Foursquare 2.6, a.k.a. the November issue. It’s gorgeous, the poetry goes together nicely, and all in all I’m very happy with everything about it except that it’s really late. There’s a kind of magic about this issue. The poetry, by JennMcCreary, Bonnie Roy, Megan Kaminski, and Michaela Gabriel, has an ethereal, mysterious quality that reminds me of the recent work of Michelle Detorie (of WOMB/Hex). In other words, there’s something specifically womanly about this magic, and I feel shivers reading it thinking of the privileged role of the female poet in society– the record-keeper and future-teller, the griot.

I don’t like to play into stereotypes of how women act– or even to reinforce, by recognizing, the way women “tend to” behave in a patriarchal society. But perhaps there’s another way of looking at it– that women can take, and make, and remake mysterious connections to past and future, life and death, sound and image. Certainly many of my favorite female poets (Vicuna, Howe, Niedecker) do. For that matter, it is this “effeminate” quality (in calling it this I am thinking about the classic association of women with the terror of the birth/death cycle, as recapped in Gilbert and Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic) that I’m attracted to in my favorite male poets (Creeley, Zukofsky, Shelley).

But back to the “issue” at hand– Foursquare 2.6 is done and 2.7 is almost done and both should be on their way to subscribers shortly. As always, overruns are available at my Etsy shop.

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5 Responses to Foursquare 2.6 and Female Poetry Magic

  1. Steven Fama says:

    Looks great!

    At the risk of appearing obnoxious to some, permit me please to point out that over at etsy the issue is mis-labeled as “1.6.”

  2. shannon says:

    Jessica: This is gorgeous! Congrats on yet another beautiful 4SQ. I can’t wait to see it in person :)

  3. Jessica Smith says:

    @steve, oops, that’s what you get for doing something at 5 a.m. But since I did the layout at a reasonable hour you can rest assured that the issue is properly numbered.

    @shannon thanks!

  4. Amelia Lohrenz says:

    If you aren’t already familiar with Remedios Varo’s paintings, you might check them out sometime. She has a knack for representing visually that particularly “feminine” aspect of magic.

  5. Jessica Smith says:

    @amelia– oh wow, i had no idea about this person– although now that you mention it and i look at this i remember the pynchon description vividly.

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