The Daughter/Mother Sessions
with introductory essay “Immanent Desire” by Faith Wilding
What might happen if an English professor, a powerful voice in modern poetry and creative nonfiction, conspired with her daughter, a visual artist and young mother, to articulate desire? The dialogue that ensues, in the words of Faith Wilding, “is an opening into fearsome and sublime territories, where home comforts and home truths are scarce; where ancient hierarchies and silences have been broken.”
Anatomy of Desire is a poetic dialogue between visual artist/daughter Lucinda Bliss and writer/mother Alison Deming about the nature of desire. The book construction reflects the revelation, femininity, and equality of the author’s dialogue. The cover of the portfolio features an image by Bliss—a long black slit, stitched across, the opening of which feels like an act of delicate undressing. “Immanent Desire,” the essay by Faith Wilding, is printed on a single, unbound folio of white, eighty-pound, vertically striated cover stock. Beneath the essay the spare, heartfelt, dialogue is printed on vertical facing pages, like panels of a French door. The printed conversation happens side by side, mother’s voice on the right, daughter’s on the left as if the two were speaking face to face.
Alison Deming (she/her/hers) is the author of six books, including Science and Other Poems, The Monarchs: A Poem Sequence; a collection of essays,Temporary Homelands; and Girls in the Jungle: What Does It Take for a Woman to Survive as an Artist (chapbook/poster from Kore Press). She has edited Poetry of the American West: A Columbia Anthology. Among other awards, she has received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, two NEA Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona as well as the former director of the UA Poetry Center.
Lucinda Bliss (she/her/hers) has exhibited her paintings and drawings widely in New England, the Southwest, and Chicago over the last fifteen years. Recent exhibits include The Ostrich Diaries and Other Stories at the Space in Portland, Maine,Filling in the Hole at the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath, Exposing Scarlet at the Boston Center for the Arts, What’s Love Got to Do With It? at the Tucson Museum of Art, and a solo show at the Patricia Carega Gallery in New Hampshire. Upcoming exhibits include a show in May, 2007 at Whitney Art Works in Portland, Maine. Bliss has been accepted into The Viewing Program and The Slide Registry of The Drawing Center in New York City as well as the Pierogi flat files in Brooklyn. She teaches studio art and visual culture in both the undergraduate degree program and the MFA program at Vermont College. She also teaches painting and drawing in the Continuing Studies Department at The Maine College of Art and serves as the Director of the Bowdoin Summer Art Camp. In 1999 Bliss received an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College, and in 1988, a BA in Art History from Skidmore College.