April 2020
Vol. X, No. 4

April 2020: Woman/Women Vol. II

“Poetry has the capacity to remind us of something we are forbidden to see. A forgotten future: a still uncreated site whose moral architecture is founded not on ownership and dispossession, the subjection of women, outcast and tribe, but on the continuous redefining of freedom—that word now held under house arrest by the rhetoric of the ‘free market. … There is always that in poetry which will not be grasped, which cannot be described, which survives our ardent attention, our critical theories, our late-night arguments. There is always (I am quoting the poet/translator Américo Ferrari) ‘an unspeakable where, perhaps, the nucleus of the living relation between the poem and the world resides.—from “Legislators of the World,” by Adrienne Rich

From “Bullets Revisited, #3,” 2012.

From “Bullets Revisited, #3,” 2012.

The April issue of Weekly Hubris is the second of two issues devoted to writing (and cartooning) about Woman/Women, and it postsvirtuallyon Day 135 of The 2020 Pandemic. (Also, April Fools Day.) On board this month are essayist Dr. Skip Eisiminger (my former colleague at Clemson University), The Rev. Robin White (my pastor at North Anderson Community Church Presbyterian), cartoonist Mark Addison Kershaw (who lives in a nearby state, but whom I know only ethereally), photographer Chiara-Sophia Coyle (whom I have known from her childhood on Mykonos), poet Don Schofield (with whom I shared an Athens, Greece of decades past), poet Claire Bateman (another former colleague at Clemson), childrens book author Burt Kempner (a longtime virtual friend), Tim Bayer (Assistant Editor of Weekly Hubris), and climate scientist Dr. Guy McPherson (whom I was due to meet on Corfu this month, had COVID-19 not had other plans for us all). Read us as you shelter in place. Read us, and let us hear from you. With love, Elizabeth Boleman-Herring.

About the art work featured on our April Home Page: Lalla Essaydi is a contemporary Moroccan photographer and painter (b. 1956). Her work focuses on Arabic female identity explored through a 19th-century Orientalist style, wherein the artist hand-paints Arabic calligraphy in henna on different surfaces, such as fabric, bodies, and walls. Her photographs address the complex reality of the power structures imposed on the Arab female body through a tradition-laden lens. As described by Essaydi, “I invite viewers to resist stereotypes.” Born in 1956 in Marrakech, Morocco, after a childhood and early adult life characterized by frequent relocation, Essaydi moved to Boston in 1996. She earned her BFA from Tufts University and a subsequent MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2003. Her work has received worldwide critical acclaim, and is held and exhibited at institutions such as the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Fries Museum in the Netherlands.

Isabel Dutaud Nagle, sculptor Gaston Lachaise’s muse.

Isabel Dutaud Nagle, Gaston Lachaise’s muse.

Skip the B.S.

For Machisma: The Natural Superiority of Women,” By Dr. Skip Eisiminger

CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—Graffitists once scrawled news of paradigmatic stirrings on bathroom walls. Following last century’s rise and relaxation of the feminist movement, the “handwriting” today is plastered across rear bumpers, back windows, tailgates, as well as bathroom walls. First it was, “In Goddess we trust.” Then came, “Grrls rule, guys drool.” Next, I read, “D.I.V.A.: daring, insightful, vivacious, and adorable.” And most recently I read, “If you’re bit, it was a female.”  (Read more . . .)

Home . . . in rural Nicaragua. (Photo: Flickr/Robert Terrell.)

Home . . . in rural Nicaragua.

Wing + Prayer

Desert Angels (Mark 1: 12-13), By The Reverend Robin White

ANDERSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—I don’t know if the wilderness—when we are not there—is actually devoid of God. If you have ever been there, you know how bleak, how remote, how soul-less it can feel. How un-peopled. How unfit for people. How alone, totally alone, one feels there. The word, in Old English, is formed from “wild” plus “deer” (deer, meaning, at the time, all wild animals) and “ness.” So . . . wilderness. A wild, uninhabited, uncultivated place. Where people fear to go, with good reason. There be, perhaps, dragons. (Read more . . .)


“Why Do Boring Things Happen to Exciting Women?” By Mark Addison Kershaw

ATLANTA Georgia—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—Mark Addison Kershaw (follow him on Facebook) has little to say, it is true. Things (and, often, things featuring women) flow from his facile pen, and, yet, we are often not vouchsafed even one full sentence of accompanying prose. We—the regal we, in this case—are good with that. Basically, this month, it all boils down to: “I understand you. It’s your vagina that confuses me.” Hear, hear, Addison. Hear, hear. (Read more . . .)

Thia-Ghia and the author, in the early 1960s, on Mykonos.

The author as a child, early 1960s, Mykonos.

Clicks & Relativity

“Thia-Ghia, A Morning Visit,” By Chiara-Sophia Coyle

OAKLAND California—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2019—Greece in the 1960s. I recognize now that it was a privilege on the island to have had a nanny. I certainly don’t recall anyone I knew growing up having this experience. In contrast, my memories are of overworked and utterly exhausted farmer families . . . somehow managing . . . the children always tagging along in the fields, contributing  before and after school, feeding the animals, watering, yanking the ripe vegetables from the ground for sale, delivering fresh milk to the “American neighbors.” Her name was Georgia. (Read more . . .)

Ear design for sculptors.

Ear design for sculptors.

Imagination’s Favors

“The Mind’s Ear: Belonging & The Voices of Women” By Don Schofield

THESSALONIKI Greece—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—When I first read The Odyssey, as a junior in high school, I didn’t think much of it. Sure, I liked Odysseus as a warrior, especially when he slaughtered the suitors to right all the wrongs inflicted on him and his family. But at 16, I was convinced that no book assigned by my Christian Brother overseers could tell me anything that possibly mattered. Things were much different the next time I encountered Homer.  (Read more . . .)

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, on Mykonos, mid-1970s. (Photo: Jim Hoagland.)

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, on Mykonos, mid-1970s.

Speculative Friction

“The Poetry of Elizabeth Boleman-Herring,” By Claire Bateman

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, Publishing-Editor of Weekly Hubris, considers herself an Outsider Artist (of Ink). The most recent of her 15-odd books is The Visitors’ Book (or Silva Rerum): An Erotic Fable, now available in a third edition, on Kindle. Thirty years an academic, she has also worked steadily as a founding-editor of journals, magazines, and newspapers in her two homelands, Greece and America. (Read more . . .)

“A Walk to Paradise Gardens,” by W. Eugene Smith.

“A Walk to Paradise Gardens,” by W. Eugene Smith.

Pinhead Angel 

“My Better Half,” By Burt Kempner

GAINESVILLE Florida—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—She was fluent in kindness and spoke several dialects of compassion. When playgrounds taunts and threats reduced me to impotent tears, she gave me comfort. When my imaginary friend came to visit, she set out an extra place setting. She wouldn’t let me pass a flower without stopping to linger over its shape and color. When it rained hard and worms writhed helplessly on the surface and I raised my foot to strike, she halted me in mid-stomp. She taught me how to laugh at things that were funny, not cruel.  (Read more . . .)



Won Over By Reality

“Not an Emily,” By Tim Bayer

ROCHESTER New York(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—It took 20 years and a series of chance events. Adjacent cubicles. Adjacent streets. An overheard comment. Then, 20 years passed me by, unaware that Cupid had targeted me. Sometimes you just get lucky. Serendipity. For me, it was an Emily. In 1987, Emily and I worked in the same company. At the time, Emily was engaged, and I was dating someone. Worth noting is that one of Emily’s closest friends, Liz, worked in a cubicle adjacent to mine. Also worth noting is that Liz and I lived in the same subdivision, just two streets apart. (Read more . . .)

Professors Anne H. and Paul R. Ehrlich.

Professors Anne H. and Paul R. Ehrlich.

Going Dark

“Against Misogyny: Crusade Interruptus,” By Dr. Guy McPherson

MAITLAND Florida—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2020—My essay in last month’s issue of Weekly Hubris gave me an opportunity to ponder the role of women in my life. Perhaps it did the same for you, which was my goal. In continuing to think about this topic, and in light of the treadmill I have built for myself, I find myself writing this second essay on the topic of woman/women. I suspect few people know that The Population Bomb, published in 1968, was co-authored. Professor Paul Ehrlich is credited as sole author of the book because the name of the other author was excluded by the publisher. (Read more . . .)

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