Posts Tagged ‘Camille Currie

12
Oct
11

Women Boxing in a Bookstore?!?

Women Boxing in a Bookstore?!?

It seems that historically, women who had the skills and desire to box were consigned to all manner of places in order to ply their skills.  Last month’s Bookstore Boxing event at BookCourt in Brooklyn was in the grand tradition of those earlier exhibitions.

The twist is that the event included author’s Mischa Merz (“The Sweetest Thing”) and Binnie Klein (“Blows to the Head”) reading excerpts from their books.  The main event featured the incredible boxing prowess of reigning WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Alicia Ashley and 2008 New York Daily News Golden Gloves Champion Camille Currie.

The event also provided some insightful commentary on the challenges facing women who choose to enter the sport professionally — decidedly as a labor of love.

Women’s Boxing at Roseland Dance Hall, NYC, 1920’s or 1930’s

The Boxing Gordon Sisters at Edison Studios, May 6, 1901

Popeye Cartoon, “Never Kick a Woman” (Sporting Goods Store Window), 1930’s

08
Sep
11

My dinner with Mischa Merz!

My dinner with Mischa Merz!

Mischa Merz

Former Austrialian national champion Mischa Merz and author of the book, The Sweetest Thing: A Boxer’s Memoir has come to New York to meet up with old friends and promote her book.  She’ll be reading a chapter tonight (September 8th) at the Sidewalk Cafe (94 Avenue A @ 6th Street) in the East Village beginning at 6:30 PM.

Mischa will also be reading in at her Bookstore Boxing event along with author Binnie Klien, documentary filmmaker, Leyla Leidecker and for the “main event” a women’s boxing exhibition featuring WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Alicia Ashley and 2008 Golden Glove winner Camille Currie.  The event will be held at BookCourt  (163 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY) on Sunday, September 11th beginning at 7:00 PM.

Last night, I had the opportunity to meet up with Mischa at Gleason’s Gym and after a workout we headed over to Rice Restaurant on Washington Street for some well deserved dinner!

Generous with her time as always, Mischa talked about the process of writing her book noting that much of the book “wrote itself” because as she put it, “I have the luxury of this great reality I can write about.”

For those Girlboxing readers who have not read Mischa’s book, it is a personal journey through the world of women’s boxing in the United States at a particular place and time — and ends with an epilogue about the  2010 Women’s World Championships in Barbados.

In talking about how she came up with the concept for the book she wanted to write a contemporary history of women’s boxing so that the flashes of brilliance found in such fighters as Bonnie Canino wouldn’t be forgotten.  “In another five or ten years it’ll be like trying to dig out people that are just lost,” she said.

This germ of an idea expanded to become a more personal journey through the story, and as she says, a lived experienced. “The book was more about spending time with people and training with people I’d admired from a distance,” adding that in writing the book, “it was a matter of producing, it was a matter of tying it up.  It was a very tight deadline I had 6 months to write it and live it.  I spent 5 weeks here fighting, writing up notes every night in cafes about what was happening and then from August to December I had to turn it into a manuscript.”

The book is also a sojourn through a personal passion best stated in the preface to her book:

My relationship with boxing has been like one you would have with another human being.  I have loathed it and adored it.  It has both invaded my dreams and turned my stomach.  I have resolved to reduce its significance in my life only to see my passionf or it intensify.  Boxing is my man. Even my husband will tell you so. (ix)

Sitting across a dinner table, Mischa is no less passionate about the sport. Talking about the 2010 Women’s World Championships in Barbados she said, “Barbados really was a dramatic seismic shift in my mind.  It was like every where you looked the women boxers were really great: explosive, technical, hitting hard.  Many women don’t know that they can be much more explosive, but these women were amazing. There were 300 or so and they were fighters, not just women, but great fighters.”

When Mischa isn’t taking fights or working as a boxing trainer in Melbourne, Australia, she writes.

“As a journalist, I continue to write about women’s boxing, but I like to write about other things as well, not get stuck too much.  I’ve discovered another potential book, but it’s much more Australian.  It’s about an aboriginal boxing gym, in Melbourne.  It’s history is actually connected to the Black Panthers movement here, and the [American]  civil rights movement, was its inpsiration.  That movement has been completely derailed in Australia. The gym has got the boxing at its core, but the ripples go beyond. It’ll be more of a historical book, but again, I may need to write it in the same way, by being inside.”

Having spent a lovely evening talking about boxing – not to mention a fabulous meal, we headed off in our separate directions.  If you can make it through the water logged streets of New York, do try and catch her reading tonight @ the Sidewalk Cafe and for you Brooklynites (or folks who just love a great time), do try and make it BookCourt on Sunday evening.  Otherwise, R-E-A-D Mischa’s book, its great!

 

28
Aug
11

Women’s Bookstore Boxing!

Women’s Bookstore Boxing!

BookCourt, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

As a New Yorker, September 11th has a particular meaning — especially this year on the 10th anniversay.  One way of honoring the friends and fellow citizens who lost their lives is to embrace all that is positive and wonderful about life!

So, if you looking for something to do that is positive and fun, come on down to BookCourt in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn for a fabulous evening of women’s boxing and readings about boxing!

The evening will include a wonderful exhibition of the sport by Alicia “Slick” Ashley and Camille Currie!

Alicia Ashley and Camille Currie

At 43, Ashley is the oldest women’s boxing champion having recently defended her WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship title against the much younger Christina Ruiz.  Alicia has also been Camille’s trainer and was in her corner when she won the 2008 Daily News Golden Gloves Championship at 132 lbs.   Camille Currie will be making her professional boxing debut on September 17th.

Mischa Merz, Author, The Sweetest Thing

Binnie Klien, Author, Blows to the Head

The literary part of the evening will include Australian national women’s boxing champion, Mischa Merz, reading from her boxing memoir, The Sweetest Thing and author and radio personality Binnie Klien, reading from her boxing memoir,  Blows to the Head.

Details of the event are as follows!

Sunday, September 11th, 7pm
Book Court
163 Court St
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 875-3677




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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