Thursday, February 19, 2009

Queer Theory courses under attack in Georgia

Queer Theory courses and professors are under attack
in Georgia. The attackers are inarticulate, as usual,
but also sloppy: their rhetoric deliberately conflates
teaching sexuality with enacting it. In courses on
American History, do we teach students how to
fire weapons, invade Native settlements, and wage
civil war? Nope. In classes on Religion, do we expect
students to pray to every God under discussion?
Nope. Why is it that the STUDY of sexuality immediately
translates, for Conservatives, into PRACTICE?
Is STUDY so very hard to understand?

What's at stake here is a lack of imagination.
As a fiction writer, as a poet, I'm invested in cultivating
a vivid and unique imagination. My imagination is
necessary for my art. As an intellectual, I also tap into
my imagination in order to grasp realities beyond
my experience -- both fictional and factual. I've never
traveled to Iraq, but learning about Iraq, and the culture
and conflicts there, is part of my education as a citizen.
Studying Iraq doesn't mean I've been there or experienced
the culture. I have to imagine a world beyond
the page, beyond the photograph. This is where having
a brain comes in handy. This is also why learning
is pleasurable -- more fun than not learning,
more fun than shutting everything out.

Fascinating to notice that there is no division,
among Conservative Outraged Citizens, between
theory and practice. This is a failure of their
own educations and educational institutions.
I'm not interested in a world without imagination.
I'm not interested in a university run by
the C.O.C..

Mostly this just makes me sad. It also
makes me think of Wallace Stevens' great poem,
"A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts." The pleasure
this poem gives me! "To be, in the grass,
in the peacefullest time, / Without that
monument of cat"

How lovely to slip inside the rabbit's being,
just for a moment; how lovely to imagine,
to escape. How awful the life of the C.O.C.,
stuck inside their very literal worlds,
without imagination, without the spiritual
transcendence that comes from art and passion.
How dry and dull their worlds must be,
without poetry, pleasure, or invention.
Days of pinning down, precisely, the alphabet
to its dusty page.


http://rawstory.com/news/2008/GOP_lawmakers_Fire_college_teachers_for_0218.html

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dusie review

Here's Amelia K. Bowler, reviewing Tinderbox Lawn
for Dusie:

http://dusie.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Don't Be My Valentine

OCHO #22 Dear America, Don't Be My Valentine
edited by Miguel Murphy

(in which Elizabeth and I appear together again in print,
alongside many talented queer poets: our anti-Valentine)


http://poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2009/02/ocho22_dear_america_dont_be_my.html

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bookslut review of Tinderbox Lawn

Here's Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, writing for Bookslut, on Tinderbox Lawn:

http://www.bookslut.com/poetry/2009_01_014018.php