Thursday, October 30, 2008

Forthcoming Poem in War Anthology Against Agamemnon

Some wonderful news! You ever get attached to a poem that gets treated a bit like a redheaded stepchild? I have one of those - "Tysketöser." I love that poem something awful. It's not even, I don't think, the best of my work. I've revised it umpteen times. It's been ripped in workshop, and Jeanie Thompson and Debra Kang Dean both tried to help me improve it at my very first MFA workshop, but I was left with the feeling they still thought it was rather misshapen.

And still I love the thing, my ugly little progeny. It's a raw piece - pure emotion in a monologue by a Norwegian women being prosecuted by her countrymen for sleeping with German soldiers to keep her children fed during World War II. It's probably unfit for general consumption - I use the word "cunt" in it - but the poem required it for the sound of that line and the tone of the piece, and I refuse to take it out. I figured that, if not the roughness of the poem itself, would keep it from ever finding a home on its own, unless I buried it deep in a collection, away from an editor's prying eyes. It's a strong statement about the place of women, about the horrors of war, and about survival and spirit. I think it's worthy of being called a "poem." but again, on this one, I'm biased.

Which is why I am more than I am happy to report that I was wrong about her never being published. "Tysketöser" will appear in an anthology of war poetry titled Against Agamemnon out of WaterWood press, edited by James Adams. I am thrilled, and "Tysketöser" will finally be in print, where I think she deserves to be. And yes, I'm doing the happy dance :)

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