Guest Post by Kevin Brown
In Wanting: Women Writing About Desire, Margot Kahn and Kelly McMasters have collected a wide range of essays from a diverse group of writers, reflecting the various ways women think and write about desire. Some are related to sexual desire, the most obvious interpretation of the subtitle, including Dr. Keyanah B. Nurse’s essay on polyamory and Amy Gall’s experiences with dildoes. However, the collection has a wider range than that narrow reading of the word. Larissa Pham begins the book by discussing her desire for more time, while Michelle Wildgen follows that essay with one on appetite, not just wanting to discover new foods, but wishing she could rediscover the desire she had when so many foods were new to her. Jennifer De Leon uses an SUV to explore her feelings of alienation as the child of immigrants, while Aracelis Girmay delves into racism and language, hoping to help her children find the gaps in the latter to fight against the former. As Lisa Taddeo writes in her essay, “Splitting the World Open”: “Finally, as a gender we are speaking about what we don’t want. But, perhaps more than ever, we are not speaking of what we do want. Because when and if we do, we’re abused for it.” Kahn and McMasters have given these thirty-three women a space for talking about what they want, providing readers with voices that demand to be heard.
Wanting: Women Writing About Desire, edited by Margot Kahn and Kelly McMasters. Catapult, February 2023.
Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.