Sandra Cisneros y los actos de resistencia feministas en el taller literario de Iowa

por Juan Pablo Anaya

«Cisneros and Harjo, dismayed by the Workshop culture, banded together. They supported each other emotionally, materially, and creatively. Cisneros babysat Harjo’s young children, providing her friend with time to write. She also encouraged her to write poems about the pressures facing her as an artist and a single mother. The two took to getting drinks before class. Together, they confronted an instructor about leaving them out of the weekly reading rotation. “When he saw us,” Harjo recalled, “he started backing up, like we were going to pull out a switchblade or maybe scalp somebody.” The next week, their poems went up for critique.

There were other small acts of feminist resistance. Bored listening to yet another “older male,” Smiley passed a piece of work in progress to a female friend, who read it in the middle of workshop and gave Smiley the encouragement she needed to keep going. Cisneros defied the advice of Donald Justice, her adviser, and continued work on what would become The House on Mango Street. In the 1970s, women founded a women-only restaurant-cum-library-cum-gathering place called Grace and Rubies. (Boyle wrote a satirical story about it; the story was published in Penthouse, and when the women came under pressure to admit men to their space, it closed in 1978.) Slowly, effortfully, the Workshop became a more diverse and more welcoming space.»

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