Mythology of the Mundane: Poetry of Domestic Fabulism

In women’s literature, myth and magic easily co-exist with domestic concerns; indeed they often amplify the drama of the ordinary. An appreciation for the blending of real and surreal elements has existed since Flannery O’Connor’s accolades and through contemporary poets. Recently, Amber Sparks coined the term “domestic fabulism” in her June 2014 essay “New Genres: Domestic Fabulism or Kansas with a Difference” in which she defines it as writing that "takes the elements of fabulism—the animals that talk, the weather that wills itself into being, the people who can fly—and pulls them in tight, bringing them home. Domestic fabulism uses elements like a magnifying glass, or rather, a funhouse mirror" (Sparks). We see it as a disturbingly close-to-home magical realism.

Folk tales may have given birth to this new genre, but contemporary poets are raising it. Fiolet & Wing, an anthology of women's poetry, chooses to honor the southern tradition of not hiding crazy away but instead parading it on the front porch and giving it a cocktail. This anthology, to be published in 2017, does not set out to define domestic fabulist work but to enter and further open the conversation of myth and magic in women’s literature. It showcases a range of voices that will emphasize the flexibility, diversity, and strength of domestic fabulist poetry.

With Stacey Balkun, Catherine Moore, Jade Hurter, Paula Neves, Erin Elizabeth Smith

 

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