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April marks National Poetry Month in the United States and the bicentennial of Charlotte Brontë’s birth in Great Britain. Though Charlotte is best known for authoring Jane Eyre, her first substantial publication was a volume of poetry, a compilation published by the three sisters under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell—that sold only two copies in the first year. This fact consoles me often because I too write poetry. After many rejections, my first full-length poetry collection—The Jane and Bertha in Me—has finally found a home at Aldrich Press, an independent publisher. Many friends and fellow writers have asked, Why a whole book of poems? Why Jane Eyre?New Republic features another poet, Adrienne Rich, whose father
My simple answer is that Jane Eyre is as relevant now as ever. It’s tough to dislike a heroine who stands up to bullies of all ages—who lives by the dictates of conscience though they aren’t always easy to follow. I was a junior in high school when I first read Brontë’s timeless Gothic romance. My twenty-year high school reunion took place three years ago, so I’ll let you do the math. The older I get, the more I hope to emulate Jane: to be kind yet firm in resolve. [...]
As I type this I am living in Miami, Florida—far removed from Yorkshire’s moors and Facebook friends scattered across the four corners of the Earth, readers who love Jane as much as I do. On Charlotte Brontë’s birthday, I will be thinking of her and fellow Brontëites as I read poetry or take in a double dose of Edward Rochester by way of Toby Stephens and Michael Fassbender. In this, surely I will not be alone. It’s a great time to be a Brontëite.
concentrated and divided his literary ambitions among his two daughters, wanting Adrienne to be a poet and her sister, Cynthia, to be a novelist. “I think he saw himself as a kind of Papa Brontë,” she told Carruth in 1965, “with geniuses for children.” (Michelle Dean)Keighley News reminds readers of the fact that
Wuthering Heights is just one of hundreds of films available for free screenings at the National Media Museum in Bradford. (David Knights)AnneBrontë.org has a post on the death of Charlotte Brontë. Victorian Musings reviews Nick Holland's In Search of Anne Brontë.