June 23, 2020
Robert P. Dana Director of the Center for the Literary Arts Becca Klaver has published her third book of poems, “Ready for the World,” in February of this year.
A recent book review says each of Klaver’s poems “takes control of the page it is placed on.” The reviewer continues to say: “Klaver takes full charge of the space she uses, playing and teasing and sometimes dancing.”
“I wrote the poems in ‘Ready for the World’ over the course of about a decade, and later plucked them out of various nested folders on my hard drive,” Klaver said. “Women’s poetry has been my focus as an editor and scholar, and I’ve always thought of myself as a feminist poet, but this is my first book specifically for and about women and girls.”
Themes of witchcraft are sprinkled throughout the book, something Klaver says happened as a result of reconnecting to her teenage witch self throughout the writing process.
“The most obvious witchiness comes through in the spell poems interspersed throughout the book,” Klaver said. “But there are other ideas of magic embedded as well–for example, technology as magic, friendship as magic, and collectivity as magic.”
Her favorite poem in the book is “Astro-Luv (Harmony of Worlds).”
“Poetry and feminism, the two main fields that I work in, are both interested in identifying other ways of knowing beyond the rational, linear, or narrative–such as intuition, body knowledge, dream logic, and mysticism. I hoped to channel and weave together repressed alternative knowledges in ‘Astro-Luv.’”
Klaver teaches writing courses at Cornell, including Intersectional Feminism, Introduction to Creative Writing, and Text/Art: Literary Meets Visual. When she is not writing, you can find Klaver at The Center for the Literary Arts located in the Van Etten-Lacey House working with students on the literary magazine and Student Literary Arts Board (SLAB) events.
She says she hopes students read her book and realize poetry can encompass many things, including performative magic.
“At its heart, ‘Ready for the World’ is about the psychic tradeoffs many girls make to get ‘Ready for the World,’ or enter patriarchy as women; it’s also about the ways we loop back around, in cyclical time, to access a spirit of magic, play, friendship, and artmaking,” Klaver said.
Interested readers can purchase the book on the website of the publisher or distributor. Klaver has written two other books of poetry: “LA Liminal,” published by Kore Press in 2010; and “Empire Wasted,” published by Bloof Books in 2016.