Rastall’s careful reading and insight captured so much of what I was after in this collection of poems. Her familiarity with the work of the writers and artists who inspired these poems was not only on point, but touching in so many ways. I couldn’t be more honored by the time she spent with my work and in writing this review! Here’s a specific excerpt, where she successfully threads together some of the most important themes:
“Writing is key to the survival of Hopkinson’s women. The chapbook can be seen as a response to Laura Hamblin’s question in The Eyes of a Flounder: “Where do you live?” Throughout Footnote, Hopkinson answers Hamblin that she lives “in a room made of poetry.” In this room, as in the book, she gathers the artists she loves and examines their work from a feminist perspective. There is joy, self-exploration, and a sense of affirmation. Where Hamblin despairs, Hopkinson replies with a hope born through writing. Artistic expression can battle isolation and break through societal barriers. Hopkinson tells Hamblin and readers that in the darkness there are only the ifs of endless possibilities. In “Whimper,” she declares, ” I turned thirty & left god roadside to hitchhike his way home.” The journey of self-discovery is over. She ends the book with a delightful response to Ginsburg’s “Footnote to Howl”, in a joyous celebration of the all the daily details of a writing woman’s life. She counts her crow’s feet, picks her own grapes, her own shower curtain and husband. Like this chapbook, life is uniquely holy and good.”
I love her interpretation of the book in the first paragraph, which so aptly describes my approach to the collection, “Reading this book is like entering a salon of her favorite poets, filmmakers, and songwriters. Readers are invited to join her discussions with Rumi, Ginsburg, Dickinson, Janice Joplin, David Lynch, and more.”
Connotation Press: An Online Artifact is always open for no fee submissions and exists to publish and promote the finest art and artists available, and to provide a place for a wide variety of art to flourish. From the printed to the spoken word, from the auditory to the visual arts, from the tactile to the cerebral our primary purpose is to provide the best possible showcase venue for the arts and artists that we publish, and to do everything in our power to attract and keep the largest audience possible to experience them. For too long the arts have been segregated: poetry magazines, fiction magazines, photography magazines, and while we respect these single-focus outlets, we believe there should be a place where all art can coexist. Connotation Press: An Online Artifact is that place.
I still have some copies available to sign and send if you’d like your own. You can purchase signed copies and/or a free poetry critique or donation to one of several charities in my store.
Janeen Pergrin Rastall is the author of In the Yellowed House (dancing girl press, 2014) and Objects May Appear Closer (Celery City Chapbooks, 2015). She is a co-author of True Companions (Gordon Publications, 2017) and Heart Radicals (About Editions, 2018). She has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Award.