Rachel Zucker and Arielle Greenberg on women, motherhood, and writing

Yesterday in class we discussed the personal nature of Maggie Nelson’s poetry and our various responses to what some perceived to be a very female voice/stance addressing female concerns.  As the discussion ranged beyond Maggie Nelson’s work, one person mentioned their aversion to poems about motherhood.  This morning, Wave Books (publisher of Nelson’s Bluets) posted an interview with Rachel Zucker and Arielle Greenberg at A. Bradstreet: A Forum on Reading and Motherhood.  Zucker and Greenberg also discuss collaboration as a female proclivity.  Since Not Sisters, one of the chapbooks we’ll be reading later in the seminar, is a collaboration by Maggie Nelson and Cynthia Nelson, we might do well to also consider the topic of collaboration.

“In Museum of Accidents, her 2009 poetry collection, Rachel Zucker describes the experience of motherhood as “every same day new again. every way is without a way out or/ way to look back, to be back, to bring the fabric into a tight/ pucker or pocket or foxhole hem, some little space to fall into a breath.” Zucker’s poetry always rises to the demands of experience, and her writing about motherhood, especially, has been widely acclaimed for its dynamism, inventiveness and complex honesty. She also has been a forceful advocate for mothers through her work as a labor doula and childbirth educator.

“In addition to Museum of Accidents, which was a National Book Critics Circle nominee, Zucker is the author of three other poetry collections and, with Arielle Greenberg, the co-author of Home/Birth: A Poemic. Zucker and Greenberg also co-edited the 2008 anthology Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections.”

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