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Saturday, November 11, 2017

"IF YOU CAN STAND THE HEAT: THE HISTORY OF WOMEN AND FOOD"

Audre Lorde, Ada Lovelace and Anne Sexton 
Dear Diary,

OOOOOOH my oh my oh my.  Don't know about anyone else but I've sort of always wanted to get pied in the face just like the cartoon characters used to get on tv when I was younger. FINALLY MY DREAMS CAMES TRUE!! I got to work with Ada Lovelace and Anne Sexton to try and educate people on the toxicity and sexist way food is marketed to us and the effects that such pointed conversations of food have on all our bodies. At first, I was nervous. Really nervous. Nervous to the point where I think I was coming off as almost mean? You know how it goes Diary; you're not sure how you’re going to be able to be the most effective so you sort of shut down instead. Well, thank God I had probably the most intellectual and chipper ladies standing in the room with me. We chatted about our own relationships with food, politics, our families, our INSANE daily lives and feminism. It felt like being back at camp or something! I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have a room to walk in to where you know there is nothing but kind women waiting to work with you.

ALSO DIARY, we went to Jersey for the first time! I know we’ve been all over the world but sometimes that means you forget what your own backyard looks like ya know? The trip up there was so charming and when we finally got there, the lovely people of William Paterson University had SO MUCH FOOD WAITING FOR US!! It was honestly a dream come true. We munched on some great snacks, had a full dinner, then performed our latest show for a group of surprisingly responsive women and a handful of men!

I think the biggest thing I’ll take away from this show is you should never under estimate yourself. There is no telling what you can accomplish if you allow yourself to be open to the people in the room with you and let their energy and light fill you with your own.

Missing my ladies dearly already and can’t wait to see them again!

Sincerely,

Audre Lorde as Edna Lewis (Anne Sexton looks on)

Dear Diary,

Today I went to Wayne New Jersey! We had this massive theatre all to ourselves! I got to do a show about women and food! We talked about important things like body image, and eating healthy and the relationship between food and media and gender. It made me feel empowered. I feel like I can do anything no matter what I look like. We also honored MFK Fisher, Julia Child, and Edna Louis. What amazing women! It really made me want to learn more about women and food. It also made me want to cook more! Actually, if I’m being honest, it really made me hungry.

Love,
Ada Lovelace


Dear Diary,

PIE CALL!  Pie in the face rehearsals
Well, I ditched my vodka tonic for some bread dough at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ over the weekend. I'd lost my voice for the 4 days leading up to the show - I thought of it as a forced silent retreat, minus the retreat with an emphasis on forced. But, the show must go on, and our fearless director, Aphra Behn, said my lines as I mouthed the words and moved about the stage like a wooden marionette all last week.  We toyed with the idea of keeping it that way as an avant garde performance art piece, but in the end, realism reigned and my shaky voice finally came back.  Just in the nick of time!  

The show was grand and exhilarating  - going from the history of women in food, to food activism in America, to learning a bit about 3 colorful femme foodies of America--unsung heroes reclaiming power in a highly male-dominated arena.  We had a better than expected turn-out, but for a school with over 11,500 students, we were surprised that the theatre was not more packed.  If only they'd known they would have a chance to make a baguette with Julia Child or immerse themselves in a positive body-image Lady Gaga singalong... **sigh, sip of aforementioned vodka tonic**

High points in the show were the quality group of proud New Jerseyans screaming "Pumpkin Pie...Fat...Feminist" at the top of their lungs.  I love the words "Pumpkin pie" so much, I took the liberty of yelling them in lieu of my scripted lines at the top of my lungs.  One may interpret that as a mistake, but I interpret it as a delicious, delectable moment of my inner foodie ID stealing a few seconds of the show.  Perhaps that will be the subject matter of my next confessional poem.  "I Will DIE... For Pumpkin PIE"...  

Until next time, lovelies, stay true and stay FULL! 
xoxo, Anne Sexton
Julia Child leads a kneading fest! 




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