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The Lesbian Poets of Headmistress Press: Robin Reagler and Diane Furtney in Conversation

There are many things you don’t know about lesbian poets. The poetry establishment—major literary journals, male poets, poetry professors—cannot hear, see, recognize or value lesbian poetry. Lesbian poetry is largely ignored. Headmistress Press is determined to make a change in this status quo. In this special Ms. series, the brilliant, lively, lesbian poets of Headmistress Press are bringing you their conversations with each other, in a sort of online lesbian poetry conference. Previously, Jessica K. Hylton and Jen RouseJoy Ladin and Risa DenenbergGail Thomas and Lesléa Newman, and Marissa Higgins and Samantha Pious conversed.
This week, Diane Furtney interviews Robin Reagler about her book, Teeth & Teeth, winner of the Charlotte Mew Prize, and Reagler interviews Furtney about her book, Riddle, finalist for the Charlotte Mew Prize.

Furtney: Your best moment in Teeth & Teeth, I think, is that admission of need to travel halfway across Texas while driving in reverse. It’s a terrific, flamboyant metaphor for defiant lesbian experience across a mostly unaccommodating world. I wonder where it came from? Is it too much to hope that autobiography was involved? A transmission problem, perhaps—and no helpful state trooper in sight?

Reagler: How’d you know about that state trooper?!

Teeth & Teeth is a grief story, tracking the recent loss of my parents. They lived in Arkansas; I’m in Texas; so I traveled back and forth constantly for the years of their decline. Autobiographically, a friend commented that she bet I’d done that trip so many times, I could probably drive it in reverse. That’s the impetus for the poem, “We Holy Thieves.” The route from Houston to Hot Springs is entirely rural, and I certainly felt my queerness keenly on those journeys. The most dramatic encounter took place at a small town mechanic’s. I was getting a tire replaced, and a man was taking down Hilary Clinton. A more sensible lesbian might have kept quiet, but I’d been up all night with my mom in the ER, and his comments provoked me. Instead of asking questions, I was arguing. We both left the shop at the same time, and back on the highway I realized that he was following me. I slowed down to a ridiculously slow speed which frustrated him. Within a minute, he gunned the engine of his F450 pickup truck, passed me, and roared into sunset. My heartbeats were crazy for days after that.

I will say that in these drives I was pulled over three times, and in each of those interactions, the police were not just courteous but generous. In fact, on the day my dad died, an officer offered to escort me that last 25 miles to make sure I got there safely. To move through the South as a lesbian, you meet up with all of America. My experiences have ranged from condemning to accepting to celebratory.

In Riddle, Diane, you write an autobiography through your poems. I wonder if you could talk about how poetry recasts the lesbian life—in this case, your own—in ways that, say, nonfiction, fiction or film might not. In other words: How do poetry and lesbianism work together in your book?

Furtney: Not a question I’ve been asked before! A smart-aleck answer would be that lesbianism is the real poetry of life. More honestly, though, poetry writing and lesbian experience share the fact of a frequent solitude that frequently deepens into loneliness. Because so many lesbian works conclude unhappily, Riddle deliberately celebrates the eventual arrival of an important love that thrives in the midst of a good deal of solitude.

What I think a lyric line of poetry can do, better than other arts, is entrap more of the vividly lighted moments and, if there are firm and distinctive rhythms in the line, keep those moments brightly lit. Prose sentences rarely maintain that same concentration and flare. When they do, it’s likely the prose is so full of sound-stitching that it has a secret identity as a prose poem. What I hoped to do in Riddle is describe, as lyrically as possible but with energetic line breaks, not the ways in which lesbian love experiences are unique but rather ways in which they’re indistinguishable from what’s experienced in the general population.

What wonderful Texas troopers! They must be so bored they turned nice just to have something different to do. I could wish they’d tutor their brethren in Oklahoma. I once experienced a police shakedown there—almost midnight outside a small town, another woman with me, which the solitary deputy did not like. Lots of careful, delicate talking. Finally cost $ 50 each, cash, no receipt, the air heavy with threat. Not that I’m complaining, mind you: could have been much worse. Still, the good and not-so-good experiences of lesbians encountering police authorities could make for an extremely interesting anthology, especially in poetry.

MaryM-150x150-2Mary Meriam advocates for the right of women to love each other in their poetry and art, and strives to give their work a place at the table. She writes about and publishes such work in the journal she founded, Lavender Review, at the press she cofounded, Headmistress Press, and at Ms. magazine, The Critical Flame and The Gay & Lesbian Review. Her poetry collections, The Countess of Flatbroke, The Poet’s Zodiac, The Lillian Trilogy and Lady of the Moon, honor a cosmos of strong, creative women.  

Headmistress Press publishes books of poetry by lesbians, Lesbian Poet Trading Cards and Lavender Review. Their definition of “lesbian” includes both women who identify as lesbians and people who identify with lesbians, recognizing that lesbian communities have been and continue to be informed by bi women, trans women, Two Spirit, genderqueer, gender non-comforming and non-binary people, and that many of these labels are not mutually exclusive categories. In that spirit, they welcome submissions from all poets who feel an intimate connection with the term “lesbian.” They will be accepting submissions for the annual Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest from May 4 to July 4, 2018.

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Songwriter Diane Warren Has Received Nine Oscar Nominations. Now She’s Ready for Her Prize

Diane Warren has had one of the longest — and most prolific — careers in pop songwriting of anyone in the music industry today. You’ve heard her music, even if you don’t know her name: she is behind hits spanning over three decades, from Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” to Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” and the Michelle Obama collaboration “This Is For My Girls.” Over the years, she’s racked up a series of accolades, too, including 15 Grammy nominations, nine number-ones on the Billboard Hot 100 and nine — count ’em! — Oscar nominations. But she’s yet to take home an Academy Award of her own.

This year she’s in contention again for Best Original Song, for “Stand Up For Something” featuring Common and Andra Day. The song is from the drama Marshall about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and it’s a call to action whose relevance feels at once timeless and current. Warren, who’s refreshingly candid, is not afraid to hope aloud that people will connect with the track in a lasting — and award-worthy — way. “It would be nice to take [the Oscar] home, especially with this song,” she says, “because of everything I’ve ever written, this is probably the most important song of my life.”

She first came across Marshall through a friend she knew from her work on The Hunting Ground, a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on college campuses, for which she wrote another Oscar-nominated song, featuring Lady Gaga. She immediately wanted to be involved in Marshall, and received the script the next day. TIME talked with Warren about what it means to stand up for something, how her friend Common got involved and why activist anthems matter in the age of #MeToo and rampant gun violence.

TIME: How did you put this song together for Marshall?

Diane Warren: I read [the script] and I scribbled on a page, “It all means nothing if you don’t stand up for something.” I felt like it reflected who Thurgood Marshall was. He stood up at a time when he was literally risking his life. Whenever I write a song for a movie, I want it firstly to fit and move the movie along. But then I like to have a song that can go beyond that — which “Stand Up for Something” really has, because every day, sadly, it’s become more relevant. I mean look what just happened: we have to stand up against gun violence. Right now so many of our rights are being threatened: civil rights, animal rights, human rights, women’s rights, just the right to go to a school, the right to go to a shopping mall, the right to go to a concert without someone opening fire with a f-cking AK-47. When I wrote this, I wanted to harken back to those great ’60s soul call-to-action songs — “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “People Get Ready.” Even “Respect.”

How was this different from other songs you’ve worked on for a movie?

I think this is the most important and meaningful song I’ve ever done. I came into work after scribbling that line in the script, and I just wanted to create a song of this era that’s of that era too. A call to action that’s modern. Because there are no songs right now that are making me want to get up and change the world. I sat at my piano, and it just wrote itself. At first I was like, “Oh my God, I hope I’m not ripping someone off.” But it was a gift.

This kind of song, you wouldn’t have had a rap on it back in ’68. That was a time of upheaval just like now; those songs came along and gave people hope. And I was like, “What if you put a rap on that?” And who better to rap than Common? Not even a week later, I was on a plane to Sundance and he was sitting in back of me. I told him about the song and he said, “Wow, I love that, will you send it to me?” The next day I had ten missed calls from him asking to be a part of it. He came up with an amazing rap. It’s like a mashup of these genres.

This feels like the latest in a series, for you, of songs that are also activist anthems — the Lady Gaga song “Til It Happens to You,” the Michelle Obama song “This Is For My Girls.” When did that start?

It’s always important to me [that] what I put out in the world has a positive effect. But it just kind of happened. “Til It Happens to You” — I truly believe that helped the conversation about sexual assault. And at that time, that was in the shadows, a lot more than it is now. It even helped me; I had an experience, and it even helped me to talk about. Music goes right to your heart and soul; nothing’s more powerful.

How do you feel about the momentum around #MeToo and Time’s Up?

I think it’s great. I had a couple of experiences, but not those that some of my friends have. I’ve always been just in my room writing songs. So I didn’t deal so much with… the comments, come ons. I saw a lot of that; it’s horrible. Things are really changing. The genie’s not going back in the bottle. It’s a good time to be a woman.

As a woman who’s been a songwriter for so long, have you felt that your gender ever held you back?

To be honest, no. There’s something that really bothers me about the “female” label. You don’t do that to male songwriters. You don’t say, “he’s the most successful male songwriter.” Why does it have to be that way? Just say “songwriter” or “director.” But to your question: no, it hasn’t held me back. Either my song works for somebody, or they don’t want it. It has to stand up for itself, no pun intended.

How do you keep up your constant output?

I’m always excited about my next song. I don’t ever look in my rearview mirror. It’s the hunger to keep creating, keep doing more.

Is this Oscar especially important to you? This is one of the only major awards you have yet to put on your trophy shelf.

Yeah, it’s that elusive Oscar. You know, it’s amazing to be nominated, and being nominated nine times is so exciting. I had my friends over to my house [for the nominations] and we had a slumber-less slumber party. I couldn’t sleep. You never know if you’re going to get nominated. The first song was called not mine. Second song not mine. Fourth song they finally called it. Everybody was jumping around. I was crying. I’m not jaded at all. But if I’m just being really honest, yes, it would be great to get this.

What will happen if you win?

I would probably faint. They’d have to lift me out of there, I’d be so shocked.

Are there any other artists you’re still dying to work with? You’ve worked with pretty much everyone.

Bruno Mars I saw recently and he started singing a song I’d forgotten I’d written, years ago. He said to me, “Write me one of those!” He doesn’t really need me to write for him, but I’d love to. But there’s all kinds of people I might not even know.

What’s your advice to aspiring songwriters?

You can’t be good, you’ve got to be great. It’s all hard work.

Entertainment – TIME


Diane Gilman to Release New Fit Technology in Jeans Collection

The “Jean Queen” is going high tech.
Diane Gilman, a champion for Baby Boomer women’s fashion who has built a $ 150 million denim collection at HSN, has developed a new technology that is intended to solve several issues that typically plague women of a certain age.
Gilman’s new Fit Solution technology, developed in partnership with her longtime manufacturing partner Sunrise Brands, offers inner-support compression in the back panel of a silky four-way stretch knit fabric that is intended to lift the butt while providing maximum stretch across the body.
The Uplifter Virtual Stretch Skinny or Bootcut jean will launch Thursday on HSN and is one of several new models Gilman will be unveiling this winter.
Gilman said the Fit Solution technology is “very effective for a far more youthful and toned side and back view. We give you back what nature and gravity took away.
“I must say, I have worn the Uplifter and really love them,” she added. “They give me a perfectly lifted/rounded bottom and sleek back thigh. The silky knit fabric on the inside is like a gentle but effective girdle.”
In addition to the Uplifter, other models will include a Seamless skinny version designed to provide slimmer thighs and hips, and a

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Rock a Power Blazer This Fall, Make Diane Keaton Proud

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton on the set of "Annie Hall."

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton on the set of Annie Hall. Note her power pose/blazer; Image: Bettmann / Contributor

Here’s one thing we’re reminded of over and over when we look at the recent collections: Annie Hall. In the book Vogue on Ralph Lauren, the titular American designer (who supplied clothing for the film’s leads) is quoted as saying, “Annie’s style was Diane’s style — very eclectic. Oversized jackets and vests, floppy men’s hats and cowboy boots. We shared a sensibility, but she had a style that was all her own. Annie Hall was pure Diane Keaton.”

Power blazer street style sighting.

…A modern day adaptation; Image: Imaxtree

Cowboy boots walked at Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein debut, not to mention the Fall 2017 runways of Céline, Yeezy and Louis Vuitton. Floppy hats are a Spring 2018 must-have: they showed up at Jacquemus, Giorgio Armani and Missoni. And as for oversized blazers, they’re everywhere. This past fashion month, brands such as Gucci, Tom Ford, Chloé, Chanel, Céline, Monse, Tom Ford, Off-White and Marques ‘ Almeida proved that a power blazer can dress up literally any outfit. (Cue Alvy Singer’s voice-over: “It was great seeing Annie again.”)

Power blazers on the Spring 2018 runways.

Blazers at Max Mara Spring 2018, Acne Studios Spring 2018 and Miu Miu Spring 2018; Images: Imaxtree

Yes, tons of designers borrowed Annie’s ultimate outerwear staple, the big, bold blazer. But they often flouted her styling conventions. At Max Mara, a two-tone denim blazer came paired with a camel top, chiffon-overlaid pencil skirt and matching T-bar heels. Acne Studios saw the return of pinstriped 70s-inspired suiting. There, the oxblood-tinged blazers were marbled and done in patent, the stripes on the suits laced with delicate fringing. At Miu Miu, outsize blazers clashed with neon socks and Birkenstock-esque sandals.

Power blazer street style sightings.

Further proof you need a power blazer in your life; Images: Imaxtree

As with the fanny pack, the fashion crowd was way ahead of the trend. A vast majority of Spring 2018 showgoers swapped their denim jackets and leather motos for the more polished form of insulation. Blazers for women of the oversized, strong-shouldered, double-breasted and check persuasion were a particular favorite. Super-saturated, primary-colored blazers came in a close second.

Oftentimes, the sharp, nine-to-five-ready toppers came as part of a two-piece set (hashtag pantsuit nation). Others used ‘em to dress up their everyday denim. Still others paired their blazers with floral skirts or velvety bottoms for a cool contrast. Then there were the blazers-over-dresses-over-pantsers and those who seemed to have forsaken bottoms altogether (until a glimpse of micro-mini skirt proved otherwise).

Some final notes. (1) Power blazers call for power poses — stand tall, show your confidence. (2) On occasion, switch things up and cinch/define your waist with a belt (bag). And now, without further ado, shop our picks for the best power blazers for women in the gallery below.

[ Next: How to Style a Blazer Like It’s 2017 ]

The post Rock a Power Blazer This Fall, Make Diane Keaton Proud appeared first on theFashionSpot.



Josh Brolin And Diane Lane Are Officially Divorced

It’s over.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Josh Brolin and Diane Lane are officially divorced. Lane first filed divorce papers back in Feb. 2013, citing irreconcilable differences.

The documents were filed in Los Angeles Country Superior Court on Nov. 27 and stated that Brolin, 45, and Lane, 48, have a private financial agreement and the actress will not seek spousal support outside of that arrangement. She will however change her name back to Diane Lane — she legally went by Diane Lane Brolin while they were married.

Brolin is currently dealing with other legal issues after he was arrested for public intoxication just before midnight on New Year’s Day of this year. He has since had several drunken incidents and checked himself into rehab last month.

Brolin and Lane, who married in Aug. 2004, have no children together.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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