Dark, stormy summer skies set the stage for How Women Grieve, a poetry reading at College of Saint Elizabeth on July 26, 2012, that pulled from the theme of this summer’s Adanna Literary Journal. More than 70 people attended the event, listening to the poems or essays of 26 authors who shared their works and emotions. The event coincided with the art exhibit, Layers and Folds, an intentional link to help the audience experience ways that art and poetry speak to each other. The exhibit runs through August 31 in the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery on campus.
“Grief is active,” said Christine Redman-Waldeyer, founder of the Journal in quoting poet Jane Hirschfield. “In poetry we tempt to reign in what we can’t control…By calling on memory we make the past an active part of our present lives. And I too remember, move forward, retreat, remember again…”
Adanna guest editor and CSE Academic Affairs Division Coordinator Lynne McEniry as well as CSE professor Dr. Laura Winters participated in the event. McEniry coordinated the evening, recounting, “When (Christine) told me the edition would be a collection of poems and essays on how women grieve, I felt as if I were handed a great gift…poetry asks the questions and provides glimmers of understanding, of resiliency, of mercy and hope and charity as we consider the many and varied reasons and ways we grieve.”
She recounted that initially only 30 poems were to be included in the journal, but that expanded to nearly 50 from the hundreds of submissions that were received. “As these poems come together here to create a body, they heighten our awareness of how we actually live in our own physical bodies and as one body in the community finding its way to survive loss.”
The evening concluded with a reception for authors and audience, capped by a thunderous summer storm perhaps symbolic of the evening’s subject matter.