Why HOW(ever)? by Frances Jaffer

Frances Jaffer's note (below) appears in the first issue of HOW(ever) in May of 1983. You can read it here. Kathleen Fraser also has a note on this site as well. Since I am posting a longer work of hers here on xpoetics, I encourage you to read Kathleen's note at HOW(ever) here.

A vehicle for experimentalist poetry--post-modern if you will, to be thought of seriously as an appropriate poetry for women and feminists. The poetry feminists usually eschew, believing that now is the time for women to write understandable poetry about their own lives, and with feeling, with the heretofore undeveloped self in prominent display.

But the myths of culture are embodied in its language, its lexicon, its very syntactical structure. To focus attention on language and to discover what can be written in other than traditional syntactical or prosodic structures may give an important voice to authentic female experience. Certainly one should be read side-by-side with the other.

Unhappily, most feminist publications have ignored the experimentalist work which women are writnig now and have been writing since early in the century. And unhappily, most publications of "new" writing have had little interest in feminist language issues, although some of the women who appear in them have written brilliantly and movingly about their lives asw women. We want to publish an exception, however.

Frances Jaffer and husband Mark Linenthal

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