Blog Editor’s Note: Today we feature Rebecca Hart Olander’s excellent review of Wendy Mnookin’s poetry collection Dinner with Emerson. Olander sums up her impression of these poems by writing that Mnookin’s readers are “on sure footing, despite standing on shifting ground and amidst transience.”
To me, this phrase offers hope in the fight against gender discrimination. Given recent events in the news, we may in fact feel that the ground is shifting beneath us as we push forward in this fight. A surge in the discussion surrounding issues of gender–discrimination, harassment, abuse, and cultural oppression–has revealed just how far we must travel to achieve the gender equality everyone deserves.
We at the SolLit Blog, as part of our mission to support diversity in the literary world and the world at large, want to do our part in facilitating that discussion by asking what you have to say about this important and highly relevant topic, one which occupies the minds of anyone concerned about gender rights.
Would you like to have your post featured here on the blog? I’m issuing a call for submissions dealing with issues of gender rights, including:
- Gender Inequality
- Hate Speech
- Verbal/Emotional Abuse
- Gender Violence
- Sexual Harassment
- Gender-based Discrimination
Whether you’ve experienced, witnessed, or intervened in one or more of these situations, we’d like to hear about it. This includes discrimination against women, LGBTQ people, and the gender queer/gender fluid. Check out our submission guidelines here and send us your thoughts!
In Mnookin’s poems, Olander finds the message that “despite whatever we are slogging through, there will be another season.” Let’s seize this hope and allow it to fuel our thinking, our writing, and our speaking out for gender equality.
Dinner with Emerson by Wendy Mnookin, Tiger Bark Press, 2016, 108 pp/, $16.95
Wendy Mnookin’s fifth collection, Dinner with Emerson, is organized according to the four seasons. It begins with spring and runs through the year, followed by a fifth section, “Another Spring,” that features poems in a season that stretch beyond “Winter.” There is a sense of the ongoing about these poems, that life marches on, that we learn to turn the page, and that despite whatever we are slogging through, there will be another season. The poems in the final section continue to deal with change and loss, as some of the earlier poems do; this other spring is both new and renewing, and yet holds its fair share of hardship, as any season does. Balanced on the brink but not falling in, Mnookin’s book lives in the familiar terrain that most of us try to inhabit as our parents age and die, our children grow and change, and grandchildren and other renewals help us get back in the daily ring.