Open Books: Events
November 11, 2012 03:00 PM
This afternoon celebrates the publication of Annette Spaulding-Convy's first full-length book, In Broken Latin ($16), a finalist for the 2012 Miller Williams Poetry Prize from the University of Arkansas Press and a collection that draws on her experiences during her years as a nun, her eventual departure from the convent, and her becoming both a wife and mother. A co-editor of Crab Creek Review and co-founder of Two Sylvias Press, she lives in Kingston, Washington. The poems in her new volume are sensual and honest, their lines unfolding with tenderness, humor, and fearlessness.
from "After Reciting 333 Titles for The Virgin Mary,
I Remember Only 4"
I. Unlearned in the Ways of Eve
I wonder if I've entered the convent
because women hold more
mystery than God.
Manless and veiled
with an empathy that's ecstatic
without body or promise.
When I was a postulate,
the Mother Superior called me Mary
Poppins, Little Goody-Two-Shoes.
Sure, I pronounced perfect Latin,
fed the dying Sisters pureed apples
but I still hated my father
and smoked gingseng
cigarettes in the cloister garden.
II. Our Lady of Copacabana
What if I told you that I pray lying
on the black and white tiles of the chapel floor?
What if God's a woman rising from the dirt,
dressed only in a plum, lime, and ruby scarf?
You might call me a heretic.
You might tell the Novice Mistress
jazz and parrots make me blush.
III. Perfume of Faith
Whenever I listen to Schubert's Ave Maria
backwards on the record player, I hear
biological clock, patricarchy
My sister sends a coming out package:
short black skirt
Spice Ice lipstick
Chanel No. 19
I want to walk out of here
with a snip from each Sister's veil,
my small beliefs
tucked in a pink beaded purse.