In November Butterﬂy, the lyrical I looks into the mirror to ﬁnd a different face with each pass. In this way, Pryputniewicz maintains the intimacy of the poetic I while expanding the personal lyric to a global resonance. As Ophelia, Jeanne d’Arc, Nefertiti, Amelia, Lady Diana, Marilyn and Sylvia come to reﬂect, we too ﬁnd ourselves dissolving into the mirror…. Pryputniewicz threads the narratives of multitudes into the singular I; with her gift of deep empathy, imagination, and lyricism, she gives readers the chance to live again and again and again.
—Nicelle Davis, author of Becoming Judas
Tania Pryputniewicz has captured, with exquisite timing, eye and taste, the iconic power of our great archetypes, be they ancient or contemporary. Time spent with her work is always enriching.
—Persia Woolley, author of The Guinevere Trilogy
Reading, we enter a world in which Guinevere loves and does not love; we glimpse her as a girl wearing “pale slippers like falcon hoods, / so lethal, so light.” Later, she is a woman, shimmering, conﬂicted, drawn to a great, obliterating love…. What does it mean to love, deeply, passionately, and in ways that will make it impossible to return to the life one was living before? What does it mean to link the great streaming magic of the everyday—to a real day? Divination and sacriﬁce offer us a way through. Pryputniewicz does not ﬂinch from the challenges of the labyrinth—pathways that might lead equally, or randomly, to betrayal or desire. “So easy to muck the translation,” she writes, “no common language— that gap between the self one loves and the self one fears.” Her book gives us some courage—as we read and breathe that gap—to return what we ﬁnd there to our own shattered and shattering, quotidian and startling lives.
—Bhanu Kapil, author of The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers
Poetry Flash, Reading at Moe’s Books (MP3) on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 with an introduction by Richard Silberg; special thanks to Don Mitchell for recording the reading. Includes poems from November Butterfly including Corridor, Mordred’s Dream, Orion, God’s in the Butter, November Butterfly, and Dragonfly.
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November Butterfly: Thirteen Writing Prompts Based on the Power and Creativity of Iconic Women Designed to Help You Write New Work From Multiple Points of View (created with generous help from Don Mitchell of Saddle Road Press).
The prompt PDF runs 15 pages and features movie stills with text from the poetry movies I’ve made in collaboration with Robyn Beattie. Each image is accompanied with writing prompts and links you can use personally to kickstart your own writing. Or if you teach in a classroom, the prompt PDF can easily find application in English classes, writing workshops, multi-media classes, or Women’s Studies classes.
The prompts specifically address Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Amelia Earhart, Jay DeFeo, Gertrude Stein, Nabokov’s Lolita, The Three Sisters of The Three Oranges fairytale, Lady Diana, Thumbelina, Ophelia, Jeanne d’Arc, Nefertiti, and Guinevere. References to artwork by both Judy Chicago and Kathe Kollewitz also appear.
I would love your feedback on using the prompts personally and/or if you decide to use them in a workshop or classroom setting. Drop me a note using my contact form for details or questions about the PDF.
Selected Prompt Example from Thirteen Writing Prompts Based on the Power and Creativity of Iconic Women Designed to Help You Write New Work From Multiple Points of View:
Thumbelina, Prompt 8
“I’m surprised to find, in writing the poem, that girl, mother, and flower coexist in the imagination alongside an innocence I thought lost, beside a self I thought irreparably fractured.”
Thumbelina: Innocence Found (Feral Mom, Feral Writer).
Thumbelina, originally published by The NonBinary Review in Issue #1, Grimm’s Fairytales, appears on p. 25 in November Butterfly. The poem speaks from the point of view of Thumbelina addressing her mother while questioning the riddle of their shared fate.
How Hans Christian Anderson Revolutionized Storytelling Plus the Best Illustrations from 150 Years of the Beloved Fairytales. Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. Features visual depictions of Thumbelina, The Snow Queen, the Nightingale, The Little Mermaid and more. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end to see the variety depending on illustrators from Kay Nielsen to Maurice Sendak to Takeo Takei.
Thumbelina grows up by Jenny Rossi (short prose poem).
Thumbelina board on Pinterest (images).