Posted on 01/11/2022
Reflection by Lauren Sprout, WGSS MA student
On Monday, November 8th, Emilia Phillips presented a glimpse at one of their new works in progress, “The Queerness of Eve.” We gathered on Zoom for an intimate reading and question session. The collection was inspired by the art piece to the right. The poems consider Eve as being subject to compulsory heterosexuality and explore an alternative perspective to her thoughts about Adam in the Garden of Eden. They also imagine what it could have been like for Eve to desire another woman when she is the only one in existence. Emilia reconsiders the narratives we are fed about sexuality and encourages us to think about how we are taught those ideas through popular stories.
I felt fortunate to be able to listen to the poems, as Emilia’s verbal presentation was truly wonderful to experience. As someone who was raised in a Christian household, one of my favorite lines from the presentation, “Adam was for all intents and purposes, my beard,” caused true joy for me. Aside from the poems being wildly fun to hear, they are an exemplary queer reconsideration of many of the stories used to socialize and reinforce sexism and heterosexuality as the natural state of being. They are nothing if not a necessary read.
While the collection is not out for publication yet, many of the poems have been published in various locations. “Book X” and “Book VII” can be found in Issue 38 of The Adroit Journal: https://theadroitjournal.org/issue-thirty-eight/emilia-phillips/.