GirlPoems: yet another distraction

“I didn’t really like your stuff, but I get what you’re trying to do. You know, chicklit. Girlpoems. I think it’s great to see a bit of poetry by women, for women around these days.”

— Most hilarious post-poetry-reading feedback I ever got. Thanks, Blokefail, for naming my blog.

Does anyone else find first blogposts incredibly awkward? A bit like the first entry in your sixteen-year-old self’s brand new diary. You know no one is reading, but you feel like you should make some sort of announcement. You know, mark the occasion. But at the same time, you feel like a dork. Oh well — here goes.

I’m Claire. You may well already know me from OneNightStanzas.com. If you do, then you know that I am a poet, editor, teacher/lecturer and PhD student. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I attempt to juggle my PhD (two years in, Creative Writing and Contemporary Scottish Women’s Poetry, University of Edinburgh) with my near-full-time job (lecturer, Literature and Communications, Edinburgh’s Telford College) with a bunch of other stuff. Namely, writing as much as I can; running and participating in literary events and projects, and attending/supporting countless others; keeping a writing blog going; doing various odd, temporary side-jobs (writing copy, tutoring Creative Writing, reading for literary prizes, judging literary prizes, etc) and still, somehow, finding time to spend reading books and cuddling my Lovely Boyfriend. In short, I’m a busy lady — the last thing I need is a second (or third, if you count my silly Tumblr) blog.

However, what you might not know about me is this: I am also a feminist.

I have been reading about feminism, and thus thinking about it seriously, since I began my postgraduate studies. Had you asked me, I would probably have positively identified as a feminist well before that, but without really knowing a great deal about what that really meant. I certainly would not have felt qualified to talk to anyone about feminism, let alone write about it.

However, my interest has increased and my feminist/womanist reading has widened, slowly but surely, and now I feel like I’d quite like to have a go at throwing my hat into the ring. At nearly three years old, OneNightStanzas feels far too well established as a blog almost entirely about writing to now morph into a blog about writing and women’s issues. I’ve spent the past few months trying to post interesting links and whatnot on Facebook, but the responses I’ve received have frustrated me, and there’s only a limited amount of space, control and autonomy to be found at any of the major social networking sites. I’ve found myself itching for a dedicated space to talk, rant and think about this stuff lately… and eventually, I decided to just give in and create one.

My vision for this blog is this: I’d just like a space to share the cool, horrifying, controversial and inspiring stuff I find every so often on in the feminist blogosphere and beyond. I’d like a space to have a rant. I’d like a platform to air my views, both silly and sensible, about women’s and other political issues. I want a place where I can share my experiences, ask for help or seek clarification. I want to be able to talk about my teaching and what it teaches me. I may also, periodically, post cute pictures of baby orangutans.

If that sounds like something you’d dig, stick around. If you think feminism and all its trappings sounds like a load of hogwash, maybe you should stick around, too.

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