Alice Notley Notes
In Maggie Nelson's phd thesis on the Women of the New York School, she has a great chapter on Alice Notley, from which I have gleaned the following quotes:
Alice Notley as quoted and channeled by Maggie Nelson:
"Notley privileges the play of gender performativity, along with a long standing belief that cross-gender identification is a central aspect of being a poet: “I used to have this whole girl theory of poets, that all poets are essentially girls, and especially all the ones I related to, and that was what made all male poets different from other men. . I think that men who are poets have to be in touch with their girl selves in order to be good poets, and I'm beginning to think its' my responsibility as a woman poet to be in touch with my male aspects in order to work properly."
from an Interview with Ed Foster, Summer 1987
"For a long time I've seen my job as bound up with the necessity of noncompliance with pressures, dictates, atmosphere of, variously, poetic factions, society at large, my own past practices as well. . . . There were no babies in poetry then. How could that have been? What are we leaving out now? Usually what's exactly I front of the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, in front of mind, but it seems as if one must disobey everyone else in order to see at all."
from “The Poetics of Disobedience”
"Why should a maiden lie on a moor
for seven nights and a day?
And he is a maiden, he is & she
on the grass the flower the spray
Where they lie.
. . .
oh each poet's a beautiful human girl who must die."
Alice Notley, from “World Bliss”
"Much of mainstream poetry seems more narcissistic than O'Hara's say: he never says, Admire my emotion, or as Adrienne Rich often seems to, Admire my emotion which is Our emotion. He's saying Together we will make a little fun of my emotion, which may also be yours, while I try to demonstrate how emotion is the glue of our existence.”
From an Interview with Ed Foster, Summer 1987
My jacket, too?"