Ray Filar interviews the poet Eileen Myles as part of an occasional series about gender on the Verso blog.
Eileen Myles is the only poet I know to have both lived in poverty and run for President of the United States. Trump’s plans to end national funding for the arts are now emerging, alongside his ongoing political assault on marginalised communities in the US: migrants, people of colour, women and queer people. Within this context Myles’ work is a challenge to the idea that art isn’t political.
Gender Strike, San Francisco, March 8 2017. via It's Going Down.
Feminist politics and movement making has a history of compulsively
repeating, reinforcing, and reconstructing systematic forms of exclusion, as well as shallow calls for inclusion. Women of color feminisms, transnational feminism, transfeminism, and feminist disability studies have all, in different ways and through various methodologies, critiqued and reframed the ways in which the category "woman" is invoked and politically deployed in relation to race, class, sexuality, gender identity, dis/ability, mental health, capital, neo-colonial rule, and the nation-state form.1 These critiques contest the dominant interpretations of the category “woman” within feminist thought and political organization in order to conceive a feminist politics that is truly liberatory. The March 8 International Women's Strike was not only a strike against women's visible and invisible labor, but it was also an international call for the reinvigoration of a radical feminism for the 99% (referred to by some, and in the rest of this piece, as F99).
In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March, the women workers of Verso and New Left Review share some of our favourite feminist books in tribute to the radical roots of the observance.
- Jo Spence/Rosy Martin, Mother as Factory Worker, 1984-88
Juliet Jacques's memoir Trans is punctuated with references to music. From her induction into Manchester's post-punk scene as an undergraduate to her later experiences of the alternative scene in Brighton, Jacques’s participation in the UK independent music scene sets the tone for her memoir. It becomes the refrain to which the writer returns throughout her personal exploration of the debates that comprise transgender politics.
Jacques has compiled a soundtrack to her experiences as a writer who takes herself as subject. The result is, as described by the Guardian, "An honest, articulate account of one life so far".