March 29, 2015
Women, Myth, & Media I, March 20
With Leah Umansky, Barbara Ungar & Nancy White, at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on a Friday afternoon. Part II was on the following Sunday at the Rensselaerville Library, but I had another reading I wanted to get to then (there will be a Blog about that eventually, too) so I made the drive North with my daughter Madeleine to Saratoga. Barbara has new book out she is promoting, Immortal Medusa (The Word Works, 2015) & Leah’s latest is a Mad Men–inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream (Kattywompus Press 2014) as well as a full-length collection, Domestic Uncertainties (Blazevox 2013).
Barbara introduced the reading by saying it was a celebration of Women’s History Month (March) & a pre-Poetry Month (April) event. I was pleased, as I guess the rest of the audience was, with the performers alternating poems, rather than each reading straight through, playing off against each other’s themes & images. As Nancy White explained they were reading on the theme of myths, both old ones & the making of new mythologies.
It was a wonderfully entertaining, literate way to spend an afternoon, with 3 relaxed, intelligent & attractive readers. I was surprised, though, when I talked to both Barbara & Nancy afterwards that with their forays into the midrashic that they hadn’t heard of the poet Enid Dame (1943 - 2003), who wrote many poems imaging Lilith in the modern world (see Lilith & Her Demons, Cross-Cultural Communications, 1989), as well as other poems based on stories in the Hebrew Bible, particularly her book Stone Shekhina (Three Mile Harbor, 2002). There is also a rare chapbook published by the Jewish Women’s Resource Center, The Lilith Question, published for the March, 1991 Lilith Festival. Such stories continue to be a rich source for poetry.