This post is part of a series on reading women 2019 hosted by Lonely Cryptid Media’s Narrative Designer, Dan Michael Fielding.
The nice thing about a short story is if you don’t like it, it’s over quickly and you can move on to the next one. The terrible thing about a short story is if you do like it, it’s over quickly and you have to move on to the next one.
Poetry is a little different. Although often (but not necessarily) short, poems encourage frequent re-reading and close study.
For both, reading a collection of the author’s work can be like peering into their life. I chose this prompt to take full advantage of the willingness of authors to share their work with the world.
A few suggestions to get you started on your reading journey:
For folks who like science fiction you might check out Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler, a collection of short stories that features the bizarre and fascinating.
For a longer collecting of science fiction try Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr. (AKA Alice Bradley Sheldon). There is such a variety of stories in this collection that I truly recommend it to everyone I know. You’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy!
(Incidentally, James Tiptree Jr. became the namesake for the James Tiptree Jr. Award in science fiction, which we will be looking into again later this year.)
Although I’m more well-read when it comes to short stories, I still could only recommend a few. I asked my friends for help and they suggested:
Dinosaurs on Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin
All Out edited by Sandra Mitchell
Falling in Love With Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson
What are your favorite short story and poetry collections?
Because I am more familiar with reading collections of short stories, for this challenge I have decided to read a book of poetry. I’ve never done that before so this should be exciting!
Although I’ve read individual poems by various authors I’ve never tried to read an entire collection of their work. The closest I’ve come was when I read Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua, which is a magnificent blend of poetry, prose, theory, family and cultural history, philosophy, and visions of activism. However, half of that book is written in Spanish, a language I can neither speak nor read. While I enjoyed it immensely I know that I wasn’t able to access the spirit of Anzaldua’s arguments as well as someone who could read both English and Spanish would.
I did a little research on books of poetry that sounded interesting and stumbled upon Bustle’s 30 Poetry Collections By Women That Will Keep You Motivated To Resist. I decided to read Reaper by Jill McDonough.
I was intrigued by the description of McDonough’s work as blending past, present, and future. I’m excited to read her exploration of technology, environment, and the military.
Reaper just arrived today and it’s a slim volume but I’m already intrigued. I read the first poem, The Rise and Fall of Robots and I’m hooked! I’ll let you know my thoughts on the full volume when I’m finished.
What collection of short stories or poetry will you be reading?