Joanne Gates

Dropped Stitches and Dotted Dots: Writer's Blog by Joanne E. Gates

Detail of Lillian T. Jenkins Red and White Quilt, circa 1953. The quilt was featured in a Jacksonville AL heirloom quilt show and is in the family of her grandson, my husband.

Maxine Halligan's quilt of 1992.

Dropped Stitches and Dotted Dots: Writer's Blog by Joanne E. Gates

Sewing as Metaphor for Writing: Emily's Dickinson's "Don't Put Up My Thread and Needle"

August 13, 2018

Tags: Emily Dickinson, Dotted Dot, Sewing as metaphor, Joanne E. Gates

Women writers have used metaphors of sewing and embroidery to represent creativity in all forms. Alice Walkerís "In Search of Our Motherís Gardens" is one popular example. When I teach the labyrinth of Lady Mary Wroth's Crowne of Sonnets, I remember a fellow student in a Princeton seminar joking that Wroth may have "cross stitched" her second part of Urania after the published first part it was summarily withdrawn from circulation. (It borrowed fictional characters from real people at court. Where would scholarship on Wroth be, without the dedication of Josephine Roberts and her associates who finished the work of publishing Part Two?) (more…)

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Stitches in a Critical Time: Revisiting an Early Publication on Elizabeth Robins

August 6, 2018

Tags: Elizabeth Robins, Writing and Sewing, Diary

Today, August 6, 2018, is the 156th birthday of Elizabeth Robins! More than any other writing project, she defines my writing and academic life. Now, with the paperback edition of her biography forthcoming, I want to renew some unfinished or under circulated projects. I plan to explore the possibility of fictionalizing the life of Robins, as well as collecting my academic presentations into a volume. At the same time, there will be other topics and projects that find their way here. I will be explaining the richer context of stitching and the "dotted dot" (from a poem by Emily Dickinson) as metaphors for women who write. In my early years, I did not participate fully in the sewing groups that are primarily matrilineal. Perhaps I am making up for that with my passion for photographing quilts, even using the internet to teach myself knitting. Here is an early recognition of Robins as writer and activist. (more…)

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Selected Works

Books on Elizabeth Robins
Publishing in journals and with academic presses.
Contains a chronology of Robins' life.
Elizabeth Robins' play Votes for Women is the contribution from Britain to this international anthology.
Shakespeare Publications
Early Modern Literary Studies
Edward III, Two Noble Kinsmen, and Double Falsehood
Published in Comstock Review

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