Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Jill Alexander Essbaum is the guest poet at for January/February:

I believe in the body. The body of work, the body of the poem, the body of Christ, and the best of all bodies, the human body. I mention this because in addition to being unashamedly religious, my poems are also, well, unashamed. Critics and former colleagues alike have hinted at the Donne-esque impulses in my work. Whether or not that’s a comparison I deserve is another story. But the truth is that the Christian tradition is ripe with flesh-conscious apologists. Even the words we use to describe religious experience—the passion, the ecstasy, the rapture—sound less like a Sunday service and more like a roll in the hay. When I write my more erotic poems, the bespoken-of Lover is sometimes a person, sometimes God. In my better poems, the Lover is both. In my professional experience (and forgive the categorizing), the Christian reader has an easier time dealing with the sexual nature of my work than a purely secular reader has embracing the Christo-centric poems.



At 9:39 AM, Blogger Jennifer Bartlett said...

Wow! Great for Jill. I'm looking forward to reading the entire thing! Jen-Gal


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