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Women writers have found a new outlet for expression in "Turnings: Writing on Women's Transformations," a recently published anthology edited by two Old Dominion faculty.

In the collection, editors Renee Olander and Luisa Igloria, both poets and faculty members in the College of Arts and Letters, have brought together new and unpublished works with the general theme of women's transformative experiences.

The 48 contributors to the collection, picked from among 170 submissions, represent some of the most noteworthy women's voices in poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing, as well as visual arts. Olander estimates that a third of the pieces were written by women with an Old Dominion connection: students, faculty and alumni.

The anthology unites writers from Hampton Roads with those from elsewhere in Virginia, as well as from Alabama, Maryland, Ohio, Louisiana, California, New York, Oregon and other countries, including the Philippines, France and China.

"'Turnings' is significant...because it brings together such a rich diversity of voices interpreting, through poetry and stories, the general theme of women and their experiences of transformation," said Igloria, associate professor of English. "We certainly could not have done it without the wonderful energies of the women who took up the call for submissions and contributed their writing."

The anthology includes established names like poets Denise Duhamel and Reetika Vazirani. Duhamel's most recent publication, "The Star Spangled Banner," won the 1999 Crab Orchard Review Poetry Prize. Vazirani is the Banister Writer in-Residence at Sweet Briar College.

Other contributors to the anthology have appeared in The Harvard Review and The American Poetry Review.

The project began during a Friends of Women's Studies board meeting as a fund-raiser for the Nancy Bazin Graduate Scholarship in Women's Studies. A national call for submissions struck a chord with many women writers, Olander said.

The book may be ordered by calling the women's studies program at 683-3823. The cost is $15 plus $3 for shipping.

This article was posted on: May 12, 2000

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