Martin/Martina, A Novella in Verse

Anne Harding Woodworth

Independent Scholar


Martin/Martina, a Novella in Verse. Martina, born in the year 1000 in an unidentified old-world location, is the daughter of a widower, who decides to go to a monastery to live. Martina at 16, not ready to be alone in the world, persuades him to let her go with him. To do so, she becomes Brother Martin. Accused of impregnating a young woman, Martin/Martina becomes father to a baby boy, Dino. The poetry, free verse, rhyming, and sometimes form, is in the voice of several characters, including Martina herself, who in 2023 is a candidate for sainthood. Martina, who died in 1063, lies in a glass coffin, very much aware of the 21st century as well as of the eleventh. This novella looks at gender, morality, familial love and confusion. Miracles do happen, and at least two are needed for sainthood. I propose to describe what led me to this plot, a result of my travels, and to look at my writing process, which grew out of my first novella in verse, Spare Parts. I will also read some of the poetry.


2020 National Conference
Presentation type: 
Creative work