For the life of her she can’t imagine how their lives are so different, yet they meet every Sunday in this town called Newark for the poetry club they decided to create. It’s funny how people’s lives have nothing in common, but then you find out you have one thing that ties the two of you together. These women come from different walks of life. One is a really cool professor; the other is a gang-affiliated small-time drug dealer who uses school, poetry, and her positive friends as an escape from her harsh reality. The thing that connects these women is their love for writing. Who knows where this pen and these Sunday meetings will lead us. Right now it’s just us and our book Theory, A Sunday. This book…
La Théorie, un dimanche she began reading in French six or seven years ago at the recommendation of Rachel Levitsky. She wanted it to grab her, but it didn’t. She then picked it up again earlier this year when Rachel gave her a copy of the recently translated edition, Theory, A Sunday. Again she wanted it to grab her, and again it didn’t. Then she started reading it a third time this August after being given a framework that Rachel Levitsky assigned for the community growing around the Belladonna* Collaborative. Rachel charged us with reading the book collaboratively—
All of a sudden, reading the book together, La Théorie, un dimanche/Theory, A Sunday, not only became readable but it revealed itself as a map; it put words to what we have been trying to do—and by having words, we have touchstones by which we can test/see the value of our thinkings and doings:
Développer d’abord une confiance, une assurance en soi, ce qu’acquièrent très peu de femmes, en tant que personnes, dans une société qui leur rend constamment un image dévalorisante. Mais aussi apprendre à se fier aux autres femmes, à se sentir en sécurité avec elles. Et surtout, leur tèmoigner de la fidélité, ne pas manquer à la foi donnée, manifester de la constance dans ses engagements. Bref, démontrer une conscience éthique, dépassant la vision individuelle du bien et du mal, pour penser au bien collectif des femmes. (Dupré 128)
Here, Louise Dupré connects feeling safe with each other to “la fidélité … manifester de la constance dans see engagements.” This is key—to follow through on our commitments. We are thinking now this book will help us create a space in which we feel safe, seen, valued even as we exist in a larger world that shows us images of women that diminishes our value—and this book will anchor us as we create these spaces.
Wow, so quickly the sun has turned to rain on this hot sunny day. I’m here again looking for an escape trying to turn my negative life into a positive life through my positive friend. In the end all there is is to try truth. When is the sun going?
The Newark Women’s Poetry Club is dedicated to using poetry to help build bonds of sisterhood and survival. We meet on Sundays in Newark, NJ.