Adrienne Rich celebration & tribute in Cambridge Oct. 28

September 21st, 2012 | Uncategorized

I’m taking part in this event that the women who used to run New Words Bookstore have organized.

Dear friends,

The death of Adrienne Rich a few months ago struck so many of us as the passing of a literary icon and also of a pivotal figure in forging the powerful fusion of literature and politics out of which so much feminist energy flowed. For multiple communities, Adrienne was a towering figure. This inspired some of us from New Words Bookstore to imagine that there should be a feminist tribute to Adrienne. So, we’ve reconstituted ourselves as the ‘New Words Remnants Collective’ and we’ve planned an Adrienne Rich tribute event. We hope you will join us there, and please help us spread the word:



Coordinated by the New Words Remnants Collective;
Co-sponsored with Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) and the Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies

Stata Center, MIT

(32 Vassar St; nearest subway Kendall/MIT; directions:
open seating, free, no reserved seats, no tickets

doors open 3:30; wheelchair accessible

Please come! Please spread the word.

Gilda, Joni, and Laura

58 Responses to “Adrienne Rich celebration & tribute in Cambridge Oct. 28”

  1. Peek says:

    Cool things happen on the East Coast. Wish I could be there to celebrate.

  2. hairball_of_hope says:

    And very cool things happen at MIT, much less stuffy than its Cambridge neighbors.

  3. Eva says:

    Warms my heart to see this. Thanks for posting.

  4. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    The line out the door will be amazing. Sounds wonderful — Knock yourselves out!

  5. Alex K says:

    Further away (so far as questionably to be off-topic), but still related to writers of great influence who were women: The National Trust is now making available for short rentals, several nights or so, a cottage in the grounds of Virginia Woolf’s last home, Monks House. Something to incorporate into one’s itinerary for a trip to London and the southeast?

  6. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Does she haunt the place?

  7. Mentor says:

    [By the way, here’s a posting on the site that contains an update for the upcoming engagement of Fun Home at the “Public Lab”: [CLICK HERE].

    In the “mixed-blessing” department (at least for some of us):
    In the article the run is already being described as “sold out”. –Mentor]

  8. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    I’m sorry, that link to Playbill is one of the coolest things ever posted on this blog. Do you suppose there will be hope for us troglodytes when it moves to — oh I don’t know — BROADWAY?

  9. Related more to the Doubtful Seal post, I stumbled upon this Gorey-esque Simpson’s short.

    Tune in at minute 19:20. The rest of the show is pretty funny too. It will be up until the Sept 29.

  10. hairball_of_hope says:

    I, for one, am taking heart at the line “Ticket cancellations may be available”. If only my schedule would cooperate with the cancellations…

    (… goes back to wondering how her project list became so overbooked that hygiene, sleeping, and eating have become parallel tasks on the timeline …)

  11. Andrew B says:

    Three other Rich-related events I’ve stumbled across:

    Monday, Oct 1, Cambridge, MA. That’s four days from now. Ticketed event; don’t know if it’s sold out. I wanted to go but it looks like a family obligation will take priority.

    NYC, November. Also ticketed and I don’t know if it’s sold out.

    Both the above events look appealing, with some big names. Both appear to be more oriented toward Rich-the-poet than Rich-the-feminist; so go to one of them, and go to Alison’s event!

    Sinister Wisdom still exists and the women who are running it now are going to put out a Rich tribute issue toward the end of this year. Go here and scroll down a bit. I don’t subscribe to SW and I have no idea what kind of shape they’re in when it comes to fulfilling subscriptions and the other practical issues that can be difficult for small publications, or who is writing for them these days. They appear to be serious and well-organized.

  12. meg says:

    As a total aside, but one that’s important, there’s this study is open to ALL women (and some men), regardless of location or breast cancer status. It’s important, it’s online, it’s free, it’s easy, it’s *very* user friendly – and the more women respond, the more complete the data will be.

    Besides, I’d really appreciate it. Having seen my mother through breast cancer treatment a few years back, and having gone through it myself last year, it’s personal.

    Click Here!

  13. Alex K says:

    FUN HOME THE OPERA — we’re almost there! Is John Adams busy?

  14. Andrew B says:

    Fun Home the video game! Available in standalone form or as a Sims extension!

  15. hairball_of_hope says:

    Fun Home action figures! Collect the whole set!

  16. Acilius says:

    I absolutely want Fun Home action figures.

    Also, and in all seriousness, both Fun Home and Are You My Mother? offer great possibilities for the stereoscope. All those meticulously realized spaces, such as the cross-sections of the house and the Dr Seuss uterus image, would be endlessly fascinating inside a View-Master.

  17. Mentor says:

    [Legos? “Mo Barbie”? –Mentor]

  18. Kate L says:

    Off-Topic, but timely… I just have to wonder what Mo and Sydney would have said during last night’s presidential debate between Romney and Obama. Personally, I was both flabbergasted and flummoxed (astonished and confused) by the meek and mild Obama that we saw. Shades of Mike Dukakis in ’88! How are we ever going to establish the time line that leads to the United Federation of Planets and Kathryn Janeway without a second Obama term???

  19. Acilius says:

    Well, if we were trying to establish the Star Trek timeline, we missed our chance in the 1990s, when we failed to have a world war and no superhuman products of selective breeding seized power in countries around the world. I knew I should have voted for Pat Buchanan!

  20. Kate L says:

    Acilius (#20) I believe in a dynamic, sci-fi author Philip Dick-style timeline that is always changing. Just like the timeline where Admiral Kathryn Janeway traveled to the past in order to help Captain Kathryn Janeway and the crew of Voyager return to Earth and the Alpha Quadrant 20 years sooner than they otherwise would. Of course, Admiral Janeway then stayed behind in the Delta Quadrant and became the new Borg queen in order to remove the paradox of two Janeways returning to Earth. There, see how simple temporal mechanics can be?!!!

  21. Mentor says:

    [Matt Groening has announced that he will be ending his weekly strip Life in Hell.

    Slate magazine has published an article about this with tribute strips and panels from a number of cartoonists (Click [HERE]).

    (…and if you scroll down a bit through the tributes you’ll see a strip by someone we all know and love.) –Mentor]

  22. Acilius says:

    The Slate feature is terrific. Alison’s is the funniest. I’d say so on the other cartoonists’ blogs, too.

  23. Andrew B says:

    The Center for Cartoon Studies page about this is here. It has a link to a poster with all the Life in Hell tributes. (They aren’t all included in the Slate article.)

    The poster will probably be too small to view in your web browser initially, but if you zoom in it has enough pixels for all the strips to be viewable. You could also try opening it in a dedicated PDF viewer — on the Mac, Adobe Acrobat or something similar on another system.

    I have to admit I had no idea Groening was still drawing Life in Hell (until last June). It certainly was a favorite back in the days when I used to look at alt weeklies regularly.

  24. bean says:

    While we’re on the subject of cartoons and comics in general, i found this:

    How Not To Write Comics Criticism

    The article mentions Fun Home several times.

    I found it because I read this fascinating piece about libraries, inspired by the piece above:
    How Not to Write About Libraries

  25. Dr. Empirical says:

    Hi kids!

    I’m just posting (from the bar at the Stonewall Inn) to tell you I’m posting from the bar at the Stonewall Inn!

  26. Mentor says:

    [For those of us who were not able to attend AB’s conversation with Judith Thurman at last weekend’s New Yorker Festival, [HERE] is an article that contains some highlights from that event. –Mentor]

  27. Andrew B says:

    bean, 25, for some reason the name Dylan Meconis — the author of the piece on comics criticism — rang a bell with me, but I could not for the life of me remember why. So I googled, and what do you know. This actually scares me a little. I don’t follow Meconis’s work (I’m sure it’s great, but there are only so many minutes…). This afternoon I forgot to take something I needed to mail to the post office. Why do I remember someone who showed up at one of Alison’s talks four years ago but not something I told myself this morning that I needed to do? Yikes.

  28. Kate L says:

    Check out Google’s cartoon-related logo for today, Tuesday, October 15th…

  29. Mentor says:

    [And for for those of us who couldn’t make it:

    Click [HERE] for video of AB’s talk with Katie Roiphe at the Strand Bookstore last Monday evening. –Mentor]

  30. Fester BesterTester says:

    HELLO (..ELLO …llo ….)

    ANYBODY IN THERE? (..ERE …re ….)

  31. Kate L says:

    Kate L, in best Kosh imitation from Babylon 5: “I have always been here.”

    So, anybody else see that debate Tuesday night? What really scares me about this election is what James Lipton of the Actor’s Studio said about it on MSNBC last night: “Do you want to elect a president, or a boss?”.

  32. Kate L says:

    … ten guesses who the boss in the above analogy was. HINT: He doesn’t seem to like the English.

  33. hairball_of_hope says:

    Sorta, kinda off-topic (but since when is a book lover’s confession off-topic?):

    Quoting from the article:

    I started borrowing books from a roving Quaker City bookmobile when I was 7 years old. Things quickly got out of hand. Before I knew it I was borrowing every book about the Romans, every book about the Apaches, every book about the spindly third-string quarterback who comes off the bench in the fourth quarter to bail out his team. I had no way of knowing it at the time, but what started out as a harmless juvenile pastime soon turned into a lifelong personality disorder.

    Fifty-five years later, with at least 6,128 books under my belt, I still organize my daily life—such as it is—around reading. As a result, decades go by without my windows getting washed.


    I do not speed-read books; it seems to defeat the whole purpose of the exercise, much like speed-eating a Porterhouse steak or applying the two-minute drill to sex.


    Books as physical objects matter to me, because they evoke the past. A Métro ticket falls out of a book I bought 40 years ago, and I am transported back to the Rue Saint-Jacques on Sept. 12, 1972, where I am waiting for someone named Annie LeCombe. A telephone message from a friend who died too young falls out of a book, and I find myself back in the Chateau Marmont on a balmy September day in 1995. A note I scribbled to myself in “Homage to Catalonia” in 1973 when I was in Granada reminds me to learn Spanish, which I have not yet done, and to go back to Granada.

    None of this will work with a Kindle. People who need to possess the physical copy of a book, not merely an electronic version, believe that the objects themselves are sacred. Some people may find this attitude baffling, arguing that books are merely objects that take up space. This is true, but so are Prague and your kids and the Sistine Chapel. Think it through, bozos.

    The world is changing, but I am not changing with it. There is no e-reader or Kindle in my future. My philosophy is simple: Certain things are perfect the way they are. The sky, the Pacific Ocean, procreation and the Goldberg Variations all fit this bill, and so do books. Books are sublimely visceral, emotionally evocative objects that constitute a perfect delivery system.

    Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who have clutter issues, or who don’t want other people to see that they are reading books about parallel universes where nine-eyed sea serpents and blind marsupials join forces with deaf Valkyries to rescue high-strung albino virgins from the clutches of hermaphrodite centaurs, but they are useless for people engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books. Books that we can touch; books that we can smell; books that we can depend on. Books that make us believe, for however short a time, that we shall all live happily ever after.

    (… goes back to wondering what diagnostic codes the DSM-V will have for “obsessive reader syndrome” …)

  34. Acilius says:

    Sometimes in years divisible by four, Americans wonder what would happen if a major party’s presidential candidate decided to ignore the consultants and lobbyists and speak honestly. Hollywood has made a lot of movies about this question, from STATE OF THE UNION (1948) to MAN OF THE YEAR (2006.) In most of those movies, the public rallies to support the candidate who is telling it like it is.

    In reality, we know what would happen in that scenario, because George McGovern put it to the test in 1972. The no-BS candidate lost in an enormous landslide, to Richard Nixon. Senator McGovern died the other day; RIP.

  35. ready2agitate says:

    ok I had to skip Hairball’s post above just to excitedly share that I have not missed this event on Sunday at MIT – hooray! I’m hoping to be there! (I still have my rainbow array of New Words bookmarks and I STILL miss the store.)

  36. Cathy says:

    I want to thank all of you who gave me words of wisdom, encouragement, and sympathy as I cared for my sweet cat Fox in his final days. After a couple of weeks in which we and our wonderful cat sitter gave him various yummy treats to spur his flagging appetite (reminded me of offerings to the gods), Fox finally decided he was done with eating. A few days later, he received in-home euthanasia and died peacefully in his own bed. I miss his conversations, croons, and the meow-purr combination he used to greet us when we came home. The marker I’ve ordered for his grave says, “The world is too quiet without you.”

  37. Kate L says:

    Cathy (#38) …Hugs…

    Btw, I just advance voted for Obama.

  38. Cathy says:

    #39–Yay, Kate! I voted absentee last week, as I’m going on vacation soon.

    And thanks for hugs. BTW, my cat Fox’s meow-purr combination sounded like he was saying “Barack.” A few times when I brought little kids into my home, I’d tell them that my cat was really smart, then turn to Fox and ask, “What’s the President’s first name?” Fun to watch the kids’ delighted reactions. *sigh* I’m going to miss doing that.

  39. hairball_of_hope says:

    Cathy –

    Hugs to you, may your heart heal quickly so you can share it with another special feline.

    You will miss the silent reminders, along with the cat conversations.

    Years after my feline departed to the Great Catbox In The Sky, I still find reminders of him in various corners of my apartment. A shed whisker, a toenail, and even the occasional remnant of upchucked hairball that I somehow missed tucked into the corner between the radiator and the bookcase. I never thought a trichobezoar could make me wistful and smile, but it does.

    (… goes back to talking to the spirits of felines past …)

  40. Kate L says:

    Cathy, hairball… Yes, memories of cats past. The finest and wisest cat that I knew was a 14-pound burmese with a gentle disposition. He could also talk. I remember waking up one day in my bedroom in the basement to the sound of his baritone cursing in the utility room next door because his cat box was full. One day, my mother was letting him out the back door when it was snowing. He looked up at her and said, “Rrraain“. My mother replied, “You stupid cat, don’t you know the difference between snow and rain?”.

  41. Alex K says:

    We are serving Burmese 2 and Burmese 3. (We served Burmese 1 for twelve years.) We are inexpressibly fortunate.

  42. Fester Bestertester says:

    Suddenly Peek’s message (#1 above) takes on a whole ‘nother meaning….

  43. hairball_of_hope says:

    Yup. Welcome to the Hurricane Sandy Halloween party. Y’all be safe now, y’hear?

    (… goes back to charging up all the batteries and battening down the hatches …)

  44. hairball_of_hope says:

    Awright, so I’m slacking off on my storm prep. What better way to do it than to muse on this scholarly article entitled, “The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of ‘writer’s block'”

    (… goes back to hunting down the duct tape and the plastic sheeting …)

  45. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Cathy, I’m sorry to hear about your cat passing. It is always hard to say goodbye, especially to someone who has been around for eons and has always had your furry goodwill at heart.

    That said, there are two new beasts at Schloss St. Jerome, named Miska and Maximus Aurelius. Miska is a cupcake tortoiseshell who loves to have her tummy rubbed, and Maximus is a BIG sucker with bright green eyes. Pictures to come if they ever come out of their hiding places.

  46. Kate L says:

    …so unusual, to be far from the bad weather. It has been ironically warm and clear, here on the High Plains. Take care, all!

  47. Andrew B says:

    Cathy, I’m sorry to hear about Fox. At least it sounds like there was no doubt when he was ready to go.

    I hope mid-Atlantic folks aren’t getting too much Sandy in their shoes.

  48. Cathy says:

    Thanks, Therry. Would love to see pix of Miska and Max. I am on vacation in Kentucky & worried about effects of “Frankenstorm” on East Coast. No power at home outside DC now and neighborhoods near mine evacuated. Local shelters accepting pets, though. Be safe!

  49. Andrew B says:

    After submitting my last comment I took a look at some of the reports from NYC and elsewhere. Wow. I was too flippant. I do hope all the Philadelphia/NYC blog participants are ok — and more generally that the storm damage along the coast is to property not people, and replaceable property not irreplaceable.

  50. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Apparently, Sandy was ruthless on NYC and parts of NJ, but the rest of the target area seems to have come off okay for the most part. We got just the last little bits of it, but nothing permanent except my resolve to get a generator.

  51. Mentor says:

    [I don’t recall this having been mentioned here, but I thought folks would want to know about it:

    [The Paper Mirror]

    Also, as a reminder to readers “over there” (especially those who haven’t been keeping up with the “Events” page…) it looks like this will be screened while AB is on her “UK Tour”. –Mentor]

  52. Kate L says:

    … just one posse of trick-or-treaters at my door last night. They knew my 54-pound harrier hound by name, which confused her. But she’s been hearing her name a lot, this week. Her name is… you guessed it… Sandy.

  53. Acilius says:

    Thanks for the link, Mentor, that’s fantastic. Wow, Alison is a busy person!

  54. hairball_of_hope says:

    I survived the storm, but this part of Manhattan lost power on Monday night and didn’t get it back until late Friday evening.

    I was at work from Monday until this morning (Saturday), I never went home (no power there either). I spent the week hooking up generators large and small to keep things going, about 3.5 megawatts total, plus an army of porta-potties (porta-janes to the Michigan womyn here).

    We had an entire city block (avenue to avenue) lined with large generators on tractor trailers, along with trailers full of supporting electrical equipment, to get some power into the buildings I’m responsible for.

    We were just finishing the connections on a 1.8 megawatt generator when Con Ed restored power. That doesn’t end the work involved, switchover from generator power back to Con Ed is a pain for these humongous generators. It’s all done manually with lots of trepidation and multiple layers of safety checks because of the massive power involved (in this case, 6500 amps at 480 volts).

    I missed all the video news coverage of the storm because I was working (and had no power), and only heard some of the descriptions via battery-powered radio. When I came home today and saw some of the pictures, I was floored. On Monday night after we lost power, I watched parts of New Jersey go dark from my office window, and then saw the transformers explode and light up the night sky, but I couldn’t really visualize the destruction from the storm surge.

    I hope everyone here is safe, along with their loved ones and furry companions.

    (… goes back to genuine appreciation of flush toilets, hot showers, heat, and electricity …)

  55. Marj says:

    Hairball, very late, but thanks for that word-picture. It makes it real in a different way from all the footage I saw.

  56. Do you suppose there will be hope for us troglodytes when it moves to — oh I don’t know — BROADWAY?