As protests against police violence have bloomed across the country, many have turned to sharing art, and poetry in particular, as a source of comfort and inspiration. In a time when the news can be a source of pain and violence, poetry can be a source of healing and joy. Here are some poems that deal with relevant themes during this revolutionary moment: healing, resistance and possibility.
Posing questions instead of making statements, black women protestors invite us into their world and challenge us to reflect on how police violence shapes their lives. Not wanting to leave their questions unanswered, I wrote poems to say: “I see you in the crowds and I stand with you in seeking answers to questions that no one should ever have to ask.”
“I try to imagine being with Charlotte Mew on March 24, 1928, the day she killed herself. Let me befriend her. Let me do and say things to ease her pain and save her.
“I’m a lesbian poet from the year 2020, Charlotte, who adores your poems, how they transform your torment into art.
“If I couldn’t save Mew on that day in 1928, perhaps I could save her poems.”
Mary Meriam—founding editor of Headmistress Press, one of the few presses in the United States specializing in lesbian poetry— interviews t’ai freedom ford about her fantastic new collection, “& more black.”
“As a Black, queer, masculine presenting woman, my writing is informed by these identities and how someone like me negotiates the mainstream/dominant American culture that consistently seeks to marginalize my voice and the voices of those who look, act and love like me.”
Now, more than ever, conflicting political and social perspectives reflect a need for women to collectively define our moral imperatives, clarify cultural values, and inspire meaningful change—especially to our daughters.
Inside: the most exciting poetry collections coming your way this year, all by and for the rest of us: poets who are women, womxn, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, international, LGBIA+, TGNC, queer, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities.
Coming out doesn’t make you at home in the world; nor, certainly, does sex. You need bonds beyond sex: a community, a culture, a shared set of obsessions. “Love on the March,” Alex Ross, The New Yorker 11/12/12 When I was a young lesbian in rural New Jersey in the ‘70s, I was completely lost […]
Do we read poems searching for answers? Do we write poems searching for answers? In the case of Naomi Replansky, yes and yes.
Vi Khi Nao is a prolific, prize-winning author working in poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration.We talked about her two “sapphic” books—The Vanishing Point of Desire and Swans in Half-Mourning—and, knowing she’d give me brilliant answers, I also asked her two questions almost impossible to answer.
As a systems change consultant, Shah has asked tough questions about domestic violence against women—and the relationships between structural, state, community and interpersonal violence—and then provided transformative research and strategies. Shah’s poetry asks hard questions, too.