By Suzette Bishop
88 pp. Stockport Flats (January 2015).
Returning with her latest book of poetry, Bishop (Texas A&M International University) takes a look at bees
and beekeepers. She highlights colony collapse disorder, the environmental disaster causing honeybee colonies
to die. As she learned more about the disappearance of bees, she realized she wanted to raise awareness about
the devastating implications of the problem. Bishop, who teaches at Texas A&M International University, shared
via email, “Any book of poetry attempting to discuss bees has Sylvia Plath’s stunning beekeeper poems as a poetic precedent to acknowledge and engage with. The focus of my book gave me an opportunity to engage
more fully with Plath’s own poems about keeping honeybees and watching her father study bumblebees. Some
of Plath’s beekeeper poems, for me, suggested that despite her struggles with depression, she found some
comfort, humor, peace, beauty, fascination, awe and female power through beekeeping and honey production
and from the images, metaphors and musical language she created out of this subject matter. I wanted to highlight that, too.” Bishop’s collection of prose warns of what could be lost with the disappearance of the bees.
Are we the beekeepers or are the bees the humankeepers?
Remaking Home Economics: Resourcefulness
and Innovation in Changing Times
Edited by Sharon Y. Nickols and Gwen Kay
272 pp. The University of Georgia Press (June 2015).
$34.95 paperback; $79.95 cloth.
Nickols (Oklahoma State University) and Kay (State University of New York at Oswego) join forces to bring
readers a collection of essays on the history and current state of the family and consumer sciences field. Nickols,
dean and professor emerita of family and consumer sciences at the University of Georgia, commented in email,
“Calls to ‘bring back home economics’ miss the point that it never went away; home economics has been remaking itself in study and practice for more than a century. ”Professor of history and director of the honors program at SUNY Oswego, Kay adds “many home economics programs (mid/late twentieth century) underwent significant change, with a new name (human ecology, family and consumer sciences) as an external signifier of internal restructuring and reevaluation.” Nickols points out that topics that have been the focus of home economics throughout the years“are now in the forefront of public concerns: obesity and health; financial management;
repurposing and repair of textile products; housing, energy and environment; child development, among others.”
The book explores the history of the field while affirming its vitality and relevance for today and the future.
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