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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 02:19 pm:   

Michael, I was glad to see your review of "The Poets' Grimm" in the NYRSF. It's such a wonderful anthology, and I was hoping it would be discovered within the SF/F community. (I kept meaning to review it for someone myself, but I never got to it.)

The book made me aware of how powerful fairy tales can be. I found that most of the poems by women -- not just those in "The Grimm Sisterhood" section -- struck me as very feminist, or at least, as concerned with the deeply personal issues that underlie feminism. The romantic poems were pretty much all by men, for example, though men certainly also wrote a lot of political poems.

I felt as if I could distinguish the gender of the author by the poem, which surprised me, as I usually do not find such a great distinction between male and female authors. I suspect this may happen because women have a stronger, more visceral reaction to fairy tales than men. I hadn't thought about that before either, because I didn't think fairy tales were all that important to me until I read this collection and remembered my reaction to some of the stories. I can't read a fairy tale without having a feminist reaction, and from reading this book I suspect I'm not unusual.

The best way I can describe this difference is to cite two poems on the subject of Snow White: Anne Sheldon's "Snow White Turns 39" and Bruce Bennett's "The True Story of Snow White." Both are the same length as well -- 14 lines. But Sheldon's is deeply personal (Snow White meditating on what she has become), whereas Bennett's is equally political (the wicked queen wins the day through her ruthlessness). Both are fine poems, but they are incredibly different.

Anyway, so glad someone else has found this book!

Nancy
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mike
Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 12:59 pm:   

Nancy, thanks for your comments and, indeed, for your insights into distinctions between male and female voice in the anthology. I didn't pick up on that as you did, at least not consciously, and I think you should in fact review the book for some venue. I was late getting my piece in to NYRSF, however, and it's even later now. Most review outlets don't care to have books critiqued a year or more beyond their publication date, especially given the short shelf life of titles nowadays. Anyway, thanks for your comments.
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James M. Palmer
Posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 03:59 pm:   

Michael,

This is James Palmer. You might remember me from your gig at North Georgia College a couple years back. I just wanted to let you know that since we met I have read Brittle Innings and loved it, and also loved "The Door Gunner" in Realms of Fantasy. Any chance of you coming to Dragon*Con or Sci-Fi Summer? I have written lots of articles and interviews, but still haven't cracked the fiction market, but I am trying. Keep up the good work.

James
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mike
Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 - 12:51 pm:   

James,

Thanks for dropping by. I probably won't get to Dragon*Con or Sci-Fi Summer, either one, primarily because we're pretty much obligated to travel to Arkansas to visit my parents in Cherokee Village (in the northern part of the state) and then down to Little Rock to see my aunt, who lost her husband this past March. Then we've got July, only, before Jeri has to return to her counseling position at Rosemont Elementary in Troup County early in August. A short summer nowadays. In any event, I wish you well with your own short fiction, and I appreciate your kind remarks about the novel and "The Door Gunner."
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Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 05:01 pm:   

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