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Friday, October 7, 2011

Isabel Bishop

"I hope my work is recognizable as being by a woman, though I certainly would never deliberately make it feminine in any way, in subject or treatment.  But if I speak in a voice which is my own, it's bound to be the voice of a woman."

American Artist
1902 - 1988

Let's discuss the gender issue.  Can you look at a painting and tell whether it was painted by a male or female?  Can you read a poem or story and tell if a man or woman wrote it?  Can a male writer create female characters who are authentic?  Can a female writer create characters who are truly male?
14th Street

I ask these questions because I believe, contrary to current popular opinion, that men and women have more similarities than they have differences.  Our desires, dreams and hopes are very much alike.  What do you think?  Does gender influence your art?  Your stories?  Your poems?

Isabel Bishop made the above statement when she was 76.  Four years later, she said: "I didn't want to be a woman artist, I just wanted to be an artist."  Do you want to be known as an artist or as a male or female artist?  Or are you an artist who happens to be female?

Here is a link to a narrative poem that I wrote in the voice of a Mexican woman: No One Sees Me.