A SUICIDE SITE that needs to be
LINKS TO INTERVIEWS AND REVIEWS
Review by Diane R. Wiener of Woman with a Fan: On Maria Blanchard in Wordgathering, A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, Fall 2021 (vol. 15:3)
"Interview with Diane Kendig: Woman with a Fan" in The Ekphrastic Review, 9/4/21
Hour-long Audio interview with Diane Kendig on "Poetry Spotlight" sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Association and hosted by Jeremy Jusek. Here it is on Apple Podcasts
Or explore and listen to available episodes using any link below.
Links to Blanchard
María Gutiérrez-Cueto y Blanchard was born in Santander, Spain in 1881 and died in Paris, where she is buried, in 1932.
Blanchard at age 18
I like the hint of a smile in this one. I first saw it on a Facebook page, which has about 500 followers.
Links to exhibitions
On misshapen backs and luck: Spain and the U.S.
Blanchard sometimes said she left Spain because of the prejudice she experienced due to her disability, specifically, the way people would chase her down the street to touch their lottery tickets to her deformed back, believing it would bring them luck. "Only in Spain!" she said, and I nodded, thinking of some of the backward thinking I had seen there, especially in the 1970s. But then, Paul Beauvais found this NYT article about a bat boy who had a misshapen back, supposedly due to a fall:
A White Sox player put his hand on the boy's back, believing he was good luck, and the team took him on as its batboy. When they won the Series, he received a ring along with each of the players. Later, in 1921, the Yankees hired him away, for luck, and their wins were attributed to him as well as Babe Ruth.
My book, Woman with a Fan: On Maria Blanchard, is available from Shanti Arts.
Woman with a Fan: On Maria Blanchard
Links to works online:
***"Two Sisters" (page 23)
I am indebted to Lorette C. Luzajic of Ekphrastic Review who published the poem with the painting.
***"Behave Yourself --Joan of Arc" (p.24)
Blanchard's cubist works are not my favorite, because cubism isn't my favorite, but I love this one with that wry title. If only Joan of Arc could behave herself. If only Blanchard could have and become the schoolteacher in Salamanca as her family wished her to.
***"Seated Woman/Femme Assise" (p.22, sorta)
This painting actually is in the book, and I am grateful to the Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas ("The Prado on the Prairie") for their use of it. One of my readers, Rachel Morris, who knows so very much more about art than I do, said, "I love cubism," and I must admit that this little video from the Meadows Museum has helped me to appreciate Blanchard's cubist works immensely.
***"Cubist Still Life" (p.22)
This painting is at the Hood Museum at Dartmouth.
***"Child with a Handkerchief/Toothache" (p.34)
Blanchard actually produced two portraits of children on this theme, and I actually wrote on the child in white, which I will show later. But this pink-dressed child clearly has the same ache going, though she is perhaps a different model.
And speaking of models, my model for this poem is one by Andrew Marvel, though the portrait his is based on seems not to exist any more. Here's his poem:
Works in the book which have been reproduced in the book (with permission) can also be found online are "Woman with a Fan," and "The Communicant" (both at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, where you will find several more of her cubist works) and "The Ice Cream Cart" (at the Pompideau Museum in Paris)
Next up: photos of Blanchard
It's been a long time coming. I stumbled up on my subject matter in 1986, a pretty good year in my life, all things considered. I was re-reading a book of prose essays by Federico Garcia Lorca in translation and found myself galvanized by his first short piece, a funeral elegy for a painter named Maria Blanchard. I couldn't find much more about her, just an anecdote in a biography of Diego Rivera, whom she loved and with whom she shared a studio in Paris.
I tried to find her art. The head librarian at the college where I taught, Bob Schirmer, managed to find a book on her at a small college in Connecticut and get a photocopy sent to me. I was so excited to get the package, only to open it and see that in the black and white photocopies of the day, Blanchard's paintings looked like Rorschach tests.
In 2007 trip to Spain, Paul spied her name as we entered the Reina Sofia Museum, and I practically RAN up the stairs to see her huge, "Woman with a Fan." In the gift shop, I found a 10x14 inch, 740 page book of her complete catalogue at the top. I bought it and cradled it on my lap the whole plane ride home.
My good friend the writer Tom Barlow suggested a blog where I link the art that I've written about, and this series will do that. Later this fall, I hope to also post a few works that are not online. (I will be showing those for the first time at the Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival in October.)
If you don't have a copy of the book and would like to purchase one, my website tells you how to do that: dianekendig.com
And the publisher, Shanti Arts, has a nice page of info on the book here
Iowa City, Iowa to Canton, Ohio
We put on our athletic shoes and walked out onto the mall, but it was Sunday, and a lot, including the bookstore was closed. The restaurant we ate at was open, but so was the one next door, Basta, with a happy crowd of pizza eaters on the sidewalk. We went in, and the place was really really really busy, but the manager was great, sent us to the bar to order our pizza to go, and the uber-busy bartender served us two drinks while we waited. Put this place on your list!
Rock Springs and Rawlins WY to Sydney, NE
Days 11, 12, and 13 were primarily driving days that can be depicted as mountains to the Salt Lake Desert, then mountains, then the plains of Nebraska, on and on for hours and hours. Paul drove. I finished listening to Cather's One of Ours.
We got the story of Annie Bruce, the "woman" (age 14) who went to prison for murdering her father with a poisoned pie. Relatives believe her mother was the real culprit. She eventually got her sprung, and she went on to be married, have kids and live to 86.
|Taya Morrell and Sarah|