Archive for the ‘Lonely Polygamist’ Category

Kimiko Hahn’s Toxic Flora :: Brad Udall’s Lonely Polygamist   Leave a comment

This Thursday, May 20th, at 4:15 Merry Gangemi welcomes Brad Udall ( Aliens in the Prime of their Lives) back to Woman-Stirred Radio to talk about his new novel, The Lonely Polygamist.

The book has ruffled feathers in some sectors of the Mormon community and raised many an eyebrow; regardless, the book is beautifully written and very engaging. Any resistance I felt in reading it (and as a lesbian-feminist, I had a lot of resistance) dissolved pretty quickly. The novel compels the reader to  re-think, in a different context, those age old questions about patriarchal culture, the ubiquity of sex, the subjugation of women, and the contradictions of those traditional family values marriages Fundamentalists are always shouting about, contradictions found in any committed partnership or marriage. The Lonely Polygamist certainly compels us to consider the fact that plural marriages are not unique; they have been around for just about forever.

Lest anyone hasn’t been paying attention, polygamy is embraced by a lot of Americans in Utah and surrounding states. (When I lived in Short Hills NJ, there was an LDS church less than a mile away.) Lest anyone compare the acceptance of same-sex marriage, which is  continually bashed as unnatural and perverted, to plural marriages. Forget it. That’s like comparing oranges to CDs; the only thing in common is that both are round.

Then at 5:00 poet Kimiko Hahn visits Woman-Stirred Radio to discuss and read from her new collection, Toxic Flora (Norton, 2010).  

Toxic Flora, Hahn’s eighth book of poems probes the nexus of “identity, extinction, and survival” to weave “exotic tropes” mined from the lessor-known sciences of astrophysics, mycology, and paleobotany.

Kimiko’s poems are observant, curious,  amazingly detailed and straightforward—-with a touch of cynicism thrown in for good measure. She challenges assumptions about the natural world and human behaviors, and like so many great poets, does not skirt her responsibility to speak truth. “What to make of highly evolved Beauty” she writes in the opening poem “bent on deception as survival….” That question runs through the book, threading and weaving the tropes together into a gorgeous net of thoughts and language.

Eavan Boland writes: “Kimiko Hahn uses the extremes of human experience to examine the deep trouble and struggles of desire, the covert ties that bind together ordinary lovers, parents, and children.”

Kimiko Hahn won an American Book Award, a Theodore Roethke Award, and a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award. She teaches at Queens College, City University of New York.

Merry Gangemi produces and hosts Woman-Stirred Radio, which broadcasts live every Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m. (eastern). Locally, Woman-Stirred can be heard at 91.1 fm or you can stream it live; click here and then Listen Live.