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Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence Paperback – February 23, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Women Write Resistance...gives power back to victims, survivors, witnesses, and rescuers. They share their experiences from the safe places that support poem-making and from the trenches, both of which insist survival, even beauty, is yet possible. And they do it well, in poems memorable, moving, and crafted, literary." - Blood Lotus Journal

"These poets write...with clear messages and great imperatives...." - Washington Independent Review of Books

"By creating and communicating new ways of seeing, this poetry provides the possibility of both personal and social transformation" - Broad Blogs

"Exhilarating and groundbreaking...." - Les Femmes Folles

"urgent collection..." - Poetry Crush

"the need to speak out can be compelling, and must be honored...as in the new anthology Women Write Resistance...women speak to women, in sympathy and in exasperation to themselves and each other." - Critical Flame

"The anthology is impressive not only for the diversity of voices represented, but the writers' multifaceted approach to received literary forms...the poems in Women Write Resistance suggest the myriad ways that the existing literary landscape can be renegotiated, re-imagined, and redefined...Indeed, Wiseman's anthology is a carefully constructed, masterfully executed, and necessary contribution to the study of women's writing." - Pleiades

"Despite impressive barriers broken by women...men continue to beat, victimize, and psychologically manipulate...good news: I can't put down Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, an anthology of 106 writers...Editor Laura Madeline Wiseman conducts a choir of multi-cultural voices Adrienne Rich would be proud to call soul sisters...Her introduction sets a necessary fire, especially for the faint-hearted. These poems are projected more toward those fearful to speak than those empowered, which is why I believe this book is vital to the mute and the Muse." - Rattle Poetry

"I assign Women Write Resistance in hopes that reading the poems...will allow students to explore the personal--the language of emotion, the body, and the deep psyche where trauma dwells and where language ultimately fails to tell our stories--as a political act of resistance to gender violence. As Wiseman states, the poets featured in the anthology 'are actors, rather than reactionaries' who 'resist by arming themselves with poems' (xiv)...Trauma eludes language," and "...the poetry in this collection functions as activism." - Spoon River Poetry Review blog

The anthology is impressive not only for the diversity of voices represented, but the writers' multifaceted approach to received literary forms...the poems in Women Write Resistance suggest the myriad ways that the existing literary landscape can be renegotiated, re-imagined, and redefined.…Indeed, Wiseman's anthology is a carefully constructed, masterfully executed, and necessary contribution to the study of women's writing. - Pleiades

She urges us to read and write poetry that “makes things happen, or at the very least, had the potential to initiate action.” … Wiseman accurately opines the power of language, the most powerful weapon humankind has ever created, able to combat violence but equally able to inviolate… Her process results in a wonderful kaleidoscope of perspectivjavascript:void(0)e… Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence must become the rule, not the exception; the action, not the obsolescence. - Blotterature Literary Review

“The act of writing is not typically viewed as an assertion of power or an articulation of authority. Putting pen to paper requires only a voice and an idea. However, the women included in this anthology do more than defy this long-entrenched logic…. the poems and poets included in Women Write Resistance work to display the activism of poetry and the power of the woman-poet.” - Poemeleon

From the Back Cover

"One of the most pernicious forms of violence enacted against women is the silencing of those who have been violated and abused.  The poems in Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence constitute a collective shout of alarm and defiance in the face of such silencing.  The voices are rich in power, nuance, raw honesty, and unquestionable grace and beauty.  This generous and ambitious anthology is a gathering of necessary and affirming poems written by some of the best poets writing in America today." ~ Kwame Dawes, author of Duppy Conqueror (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) and editor of Prairie Schooner

"Recent events such as Congress' failure to renew the Violence Against Women Act,  or politicians' ignorant statements  about rape, or the US press' shock over rape in India  (as if such things do not happen in the U.S.) all demonstrate the pressing need for continuing education about violence against women.  Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence is the perfect resource for such education,  ideal for use in introductory and advanced Gender and Women's Studies courses.  The more than 100 poems  give fresh insight into women's experience of  various types of violence- war, rape, domestic abuse, incest, intimidation-- and their  social contexts,  while reflecting on root causes of violence, methods of resistance, and visions for a world without violence.  The overall effect of women's voices is powerful, moving the reader beyond the dichotomy of victim versus survivor, to resistance through words and action.  The critical introductory essay draws on recent feminist theory to reflect on how this transformation occurs through such techniques as breaking silence, disrupting traditional narratives, language sassing, and the strategic use of anger. The book reminds everyone that violence against women is still unfortunately a prominent part of our society, while giving tools that enhance understanding and resistance." ~ Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, editor of Women's Studies for the Future (Rutgers, 2005) and co-author of Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold (Routledge, 1993)

"Women Write Resistance draws us into a world of pain and oppression, but also hope. Words often fail to describe the violence women endure. However, through poetry, these women capture the trauma experienced by so many. The stories of abuse painted in the poems leave a haunting legacy and dare us to stand up against the violence. Their survival and courage to speak out gives us hope that change can happen." ~ Nancy Berns, author of Framing the Victim: Domestic Violence Media and Social Problems (Aldine Transaction, 2004) and Closure (Temple University, 2011)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Hyacinth Girl Press (February 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615772781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615772783
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,168,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
To the editor and to all the writers:

I am ardently thankful for your book. I am an old-school feminist and have been plunged into near-despair by the scarceness of feminist (in a broad sense) (AND speaking as an old broad) discourse in the arts since the nineties. I don’t classify poetry as political vs non-political. As George Orwell wrote, ALL ART IS PROPAGANDA. I.E., all art evokes and encourages a state of mind and emotion, an ethereal but nevertheless real vision of how-it-is and what’s important. Art 'propagates' and there's nothing wrong with propagation: think of responsible parents and gardeners.

So any discussion of what standpoint an artistic creation takes is a question of what an artist sees and believes. It is evident, I should think, that what an artist sees and believes is thoroughly conditioned by the art that surrounds her as well as by her own experiences. Artists—and I speak mainly for creative and articulate writers, directors, performers who are in earnest, who are courageous and compassionate--provide us with essential tools to press for a just, humane, sustainable culture of equality. But those artists have to be resistant to a mainstream which whispers distortions and dishonesties. Thus the role of this collection: offering honest upfront resistance to all forms of negativity and dominance, including materialism, reactive fundamentalisms and obscurantism. Poetry untamed.
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I met the author at one of her first readings of the book, and was instantly drawn to the work. It's a dark topic, but one that needs to be explored; and this is a wonderfully diverse way to do it. I absolutely love this book!
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I feel that this is an important anthology, and wrote the following for my blog readers, to give them a sense of the book:

It is easier to program a child than a VCR. Only three steps. Easy, time-tested, ancient, a sure thing.

First, hurt the child. Hurt her a little, hurt her a lot, threaten to do more, things she can't imagine. Since she couldn't have imagined what you've already done, her own fear will now control her. She will blindfold and gag herself.

Those are the opening lines of a poem by Elliott Battzedek entitled, "His Favorite Gun is Me." The poem is part of a new anthology called, Women Write Resistance.

Poetry resisting violence. Gendered violence: Battering, rape, incest, trans-violence.

Poetry as resistance may sound strange.

Yet poetry emerges from the unconscious, beyond conventional notions provided by the powerful, creating competing narratives.

That's crucial since gender violence holds a "double-bind: keep silent or speak and be ashamed," says scholar Cheryl Glenn.

When he held her by her ankles

upside down on the roof

like she was

a bird he was plucking

...
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Poetry, like visual art, illuminates with the potential of societal change. Judy Chicago's 2006 sculpture, "Snake Arm"--a raised a fist coiled by a golden snake--calls to mind fertility and connection while also questioning aggression and war. Her series, "The Holocaust Project" (1985-93) brought the darkened tragedy of the Holocaust's violent "medical experiments" and sexual violation of women to attention. Faith Ringgold's "The Flag is Bleeding #2," (1973), a piece on violence against women, offers the American flag, a symbol for militarism and racial violence, and a stoic black mother who attempts to protect her children, while she, the children, and the flag bleed. These artists deal with violence and political issues head-on, garnering revolutionary enlightenment and societal change. Each of the diverse, enthralling poems in Wiseman's WOMEN WRITE RESISTANCE is a work of art, revealing hope and cultural transformation. Exhilarating and groundbreaking, WOMEN WRITE RESISTANCE combines true heart-wrenching stories of gender abuse with revelatory "sassing" language demanding meaningful conversation on the universal issue and, hopefully, change.
Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence

Sally Deskins, founding editor of Les Femmes Folles, journal of women in art
femmesfollesnebraska.tumblr.com
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