June 30, 2006
Professor Geraldine Cannon Becker, who teaches various types of writing and literature courses at UMFK, presented works of creativity and scholarship at the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM) conference held in Toronto, May 5-7. The theme of her work was "Care-giving and Care Work: Theory and Practice."
Cannon Becker, who publishes under her maiden name, presented several works with mothering as a central component.
She co-led a poetry session with poet/artist Brenda Clews, and produced a collaborative poem that may be published in the fall. Geraldine Cannon's poems have been called distinctively different, having a southern, rural Appalachian flare that moves beyond being regional. Cannon often incorporates mythological elements into her narrative poems, without being overly prosy. Her story-telling style pulls an audience into the unusual worlds of her poems, so they may seem strangely familiar.
In a presentation called, "Unmeasured Time and Other Selected Poems," Cannon read a series of poems that have, as their central element, some aspect of mothering or the sacred feminine.
In an academic session, Professor Cannon Becker presented a paper called: ?Exploring the Boundaries of Mother Love in three works: Alice Walker's Everyday Use, Flannery OConnor's Good Country People, and Rita Dove'sMother Love."
Ms. Cannon Becker brought a unique perspective to close analysis in these works. As the only child of eight to graduate from high school, she can appreciate the educated views in these works, yet she understands the value of a common sense approach to life, as well.
Each of the works features a mother and daughter relationships wherein each mother has somehow lost touch with a daughter and each mother deals with this loss in different ways. Cannon Becker focused on the theme of loss, responding to the following questions: What exactly is lost? How is this lost? What is gained through the loss, if anything? What kind of love is the mother love in each work?
Cannon Becker explored the boundaries of mother love in the three works. She was curious about the lengths to which the mothers go to help their daughters, and the point at which the daughters begin to help themselves or others.