karen has things to say

Reading, thinking, writing …

Undersung by Julie Larios


I read this piece called Undersung by Julie Larios, writer of books for children, poet and poetry editor, in the e-magazine Numero Cinq (A Warm Place on A Cruel Web) in the January 2014 edition. It’s about the poet Marie Ponsot, (who’s story fits right in with the AWW principle) and her poetry, which is quoted in the  article, and is terrific. She first published her work in 1956, then turned herself over to motherhood, not publishing again until some 25 years later in 1981. Larios says this of Ponsot: “It’s difficult to pigeon-hole Ponsot – her poems include references to myth and medieval iconography but do strange Beat-Generation things to syntax sometimes and send out hipster vibes. She can be funny, political, lyrical, light, heavy, post-modern, formal and free-wheeling, but she is not consistently any of them.”

The review explores the notions of recognition, success, life as a”career poet” and how that might (not) fit with woman/mother-hood. It is erudite, authoritative and worth the read. I like that this woman Julie Larios, has such a clear-sighted and deep empathy with the life of that woman Marie Ponsot, and can afford her the respect and recognition she deserves. That many, many undersung women writers deserve.

Here’s the link:


A final thought; I am enormously encouraged by these words quoted from Marie Ponsot herself : “it’s a very enjoyable thing,” she says, “to be an old writer. It’s bliss! It’s really a highly entertaining state. You manage as long as language lasts. And language lasts a long time. Language is a sturdy companion, I think.”

Hooray for that!

Author: Karen M

I am a lifelong reader and a more recent writer. I took up the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014, to join all those helping to raise the profile, hopefully worldwide, of our very own fine women writers. I'm doing it again this year because it's still a great cause and there are still a lot of great Australian women's work to read! I'm doing the Franklin again, 10 to be read, six to be reviewed. I found last year, that my reading needs to be free to roam across genres, authors, and all the rest. So, ten books and six reviews might should be manageable and I might even do more :). Reviews of other books that aren't written by Australian women are over at Goodreads ... tho' I'm not nearly so committed to writing them :)

5 thoughts on “Undersung by Julie Larios

  1. How lovely, had never heard of either woman, and now I have. Language is indeed a sturdy companion. Thank you for this, lovely Karen 🙂


  2. ok, now I have to go look up Tillie Olsen!


  3. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this. Puts me in mind of the Tillie Olsen classic Silences.


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