#MeToo: A Poetry Collective

Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Emily Critchley

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

Abstract

We kept the abstract very brief and very open: we asked as many women-identified poets as we could (in a short amount of time) if they had anything to contribute on any of the subjects raised by #MeToo. We did this because we already knew how many did, though we didn’t know the depths and lengths to which gendered violence of one form or another has touched the lives and writing of everyone who sent work (and many others who didn’t feel able to at this time). We stated that those contributions could take any form, shape, or direction the writers saw fit; nor did they need to be unpublished, because:

It’s not that women have not been speaking up. It’s that no one has had the ears to hear us, and we have been too scared or sad to realize the potential of a collective noise. And there was no social media, no “gone viral.” Now you hear us.

– Erín Moure, 2018

We approached poets, asking for poetry, but refused no genre that was sent, hence the “poethically driven heretical essays” (Joan Retallack), letters, collages, photos, plays, and other cross-genre contributions featured; whatever has “the agonistic power to swerve minds out of gender/genre-normative geometries of attention” (Retallack). Above all, we hoped to “realize the potential of a collective noise” (Moure) and to think about how, why, and where the present moment’s attention to gendered violence could lead us, since none of us wants it to lead nowhere.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChicago Review
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2018

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