elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Donna Kate Rushin (born July 7)

Kate Rushin (born July 7) is the author of The Black Back-Ups (Firebrand Books). Her “The Bridge Poem” appears in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, a ground-breaking feminist anthology edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa. Recipient of the Rose Low Rome Memorial Poetry Prize and the Grolier Poetry Prize, her work is widely anthologized and has been published in such journals as Callaloo.

A Connecticut resident, Kate currently teaches creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Previously, she taught at Wesleyan University, where she served as Adjunct Assistant Professor and Visiting Writer in African American Studies. She has read at Hill-Stead Museum's Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival and Smith College Poetry Center, among many other places, and has led workshops for the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and Cave Canem Foundation. She has served as a judge for the Connecticut State University-IMPAC Young Writers Award, the Connecticut Poetry Circuit Student Poetry Contest, and the NEA’s/Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Out Loud.

Kate received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her M.F.A. from Brown University. She is a former Fellow of The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a graduate fellow of Cave Canem Foundation.

Shay Youngblood and Donna Kate Rushin, 1987, by Robert Giard

Source: http://katerushin.com/bio.html

Donna Kate Rushin, 1987, by Robert Giard
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)

Further Readings:

The Black Back-Ups: Poetry by Kate Rushin
Publisher Firebrand Books; First Edition edition (February 1, 1993)
Language English
ISBN-10 1563410257
ISBN-13 978-1563410253
Amazon: The Black Back-Ups: Poetry

In her first collection, constructed with interlocking passages of prose and poetry, Rushin focuses on being a black child and then a black woman in a world where power has been controlled predominantly by white men. The metaphor of the title poem, dedicated to ". . . all of the Black women who sang back-up for / Elvis Presley, John Denver, James Taylor, Lou Reed. / Etc. Etc. Etc.," is developed in small autobiographical sketches, such as that of a grandmother who purchased silverware with a dollar and a coupon from Nabisco Shredded Wheat. There is a tender quality in much of the work, which can be attributed to the poet's role as "bridge," which she playfully complains about: "I explain my mother to my father my father to my little sister my little sister to my brother my brother to the White Feminists . . . " At times she demonstrates an acute sensitivity to detail ("I am Invisible Woman / The itch in the middle of your back / . . . The meat / Between / Your teeth"), but in some of the overtly political poems Rushin loses her concentration and what follows (a portrait of construction workers, for instance) veers toward stereotype while the language becomes deflated. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

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Tags: author: kate rushin, particular voices

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