We’re celebrating International Women’s Day 2012 all week with highlights from Elizabeth Smart: A Fugue Essay on Women and Creativity by Kim Echlin

Elizabeth Smart kicks off the week as we look at women and creativity

International Women’s Day is this Thursday, March 8th, and the 2012 IWD theme is Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. This year we’d like to share with you the books in our Women Who Rock Series and hope you’ll be inspired.

In 2004, Kim Echlin wrote Elizabeth Smart: A Fugue Essay on Women and Creativity. In her introduction Echlin opens by explaining why she connected with Smart’s perspective on family and love:

Elizabeth Smart was a writer who had four children. She wrote of the womb’s “duties, urges, necessities,” and about how difficult it was to have children and be a writer at the same time. But she also insisted that having children was an impossible-to-put-aside part of being in love. Her passionate love affair and first pregnancy triggered and explosion of creativity. She did not see herself as a victim of romantic love nor did she romanticize having a baby. She wanted to be in love with a man and she wanted to be a mother.

Here is an excerpt describing Smart’s integrity of thought and her creativity:

Elizabeth first publicly articulated her ideas about women writing in a fortnightly book review column for Queen magazine. She wrote from a well-stocked mind in an intimate, conversational voice…She was interested in the difficulties faced by women artists. She was formulating a way of reading women’s literature separately yet with equivalent literary standards. In a column called “Girls Who Write,” she began: “A lot of men I knew kept saying that girls can’t write. Or paint. Or whatever. This got on my nerves, eventually. So I have segregated the ladies from the gentlemen in my bookshelves.”

For more information about Elizabeth Smart: A Fugue Essay on Women and Creativity visit our site here.

On Thursday we’ll be announcing the next great woman to be featured in the series so be sure to check back then!

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