excerpt from a review by Catherine Lee
If, in September 1666, the English King Charles II had acted upon intelligence he received from his secret agent in Holland, Mrs. Aphra Behn, his naval fleet would not have been burned at its moorings far up the Thames in June 1667 by the Dutch colluding with exiled British dissidents.
But no, the king and his ministers were preoccupied with wining, dining, wenching, and other such expressions of their divine right. As Behn later reported to her biographer, “all the encouragement [I] met with, was to be laughed at by the Minister [I] wrote to, and [my] letter showed by way of a contempt.”
Behn had to borrow money to return to England, as her expense reimbursement cheques never appeared despite repeated desperate entreaties to her royal employers. She reportedly spent time in debtor’s prison as a result of the crown’s negligence.
But Aphra went on to write and produce 17 hit plays. As the author of poetry, translations, and 13 novels, Behn may have a claim to being the first English woman to earn her living by writing.
Find out more about Aphra Behn in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2!
And in the meantime, check out Catherine Lee’s multimedia pieces archived on Soundcloud/jazz-cat-lee and VIMEO/jazzovation, as well as her two handmade, signed, limited edition poetry chapbooks augmented with music for sale at Etsy/JazzOvationInn.
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excerpt by Suzanne Ondrus
from The Death of an Unvirtuous Woman
The incident began Saturday night:
into her ear,
that perceived the babies’ colic
and scarlet fever wails.
A slice from
of her mouth
out through her
that never was on a pillow
more than five hours.
With the corn knife, she could do
the corn fast, ten ears in three minutes.
Watch for the rest of the poem, and more from Suzanne Ondrus, in S/tick 4.2, coming your way soon!
An excerpt of “The Savior” by Kika Dorsey
You said your hunting was only sacrifice,
to put the red heart of elk on table.
You said your climbing ladders
was a way to hang me
on the red dawn of ambition,
that every father is dead,
every son a climber,
and I said I never chose to live with sacrifice,
and now all I know is loss.
Read the rest of “The Savior” in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2, chock-full of feminist creative writing and artwork. And check out more from Kika at her website, kikadorsey.com.