Women of Resistance



“Here we have 49 women and men and queers and inter-sexuals throwing their everything at this moment in time when the patriarch is really shaking, and it looks like he’s about to tumble down. We’ve got this shiny new book. People are scared that nothing will be left after he falls except a bunch of poems. Pick up this glowing book as you’re crawling through the rubble, and poem by poem and page by page you’ll begin to know that you’ll be okay. You’re in there, and so are your friends. You won’t starve, you’re safe and strong thanks to all these proud, funny, violent, trembling words. Start memorizing. Cause the future is here and this stuff is true.” —Eileen Myles

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About the Book

A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.

Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with portions of the proceeds having helped to support Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and most recently the Black Trans Protesters Emergency Fund.

Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Denice Frohman, Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker.

204 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-682191-38-5 • E-book 978-1-682191-39-2

About the Editors

danielle banhart editor photo

Photograph courtesy Danielle Banhart

Danielle Banhart is a writer, editor, and events curator. She is cofounder of the NYC-based literary community, Village of Crickets, and teaches creative writing at Adelphi University. Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism is the first in what she hopes to be a series of projects celebrating the power of collective voices in literary and other arts. She is currently writing her first novel, and spends her free time gardening and washing out her children’s paintbrushes.

iris mahan editor photo

Photograph courtesy Jeremy Paschall

Iris Mahan is a writer, translator, and devourer of all things books. She is cofounder of the NYC-based literary community, Village of Crickets, and is a poetry editor at Flock Lit. She works in the literary arts world as a nonprofit development specialist, most recently at PEN America and The Center for Fiction, and believes in the power of fundraising as means of activism.

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Table of Contents

Section I

“a woman’s place”
Denice Frohman
Denice Frohman
Bamberg, 1628
Laura Fairgrieve
Sally Ride Speaks to the Schoolgirls
Laura Fairgrieve
Kimberly Johnson
The Children’s Chorus
Jacqueline Jones LaMon
Civil Rights
Jacqueline Jones LaMon
The Ride Home
Jacqueline Jones LaMon
Not Even
Naomi Shihab Nye
James Allen Hall
Of the Swan
Jericho Brown
The Legend of Big and Fine
Jericho Brown
This is why we are afraid:
Jade Lascelles
To the Woman Crying Uncontrollably in the Next Stall
Kim Addonizio
Judith Baumel
Getting a UTI
Laura Theobald
Laura Theobald

Section II

An Open Letter to the Protesters Outside the Planned Parenthood Near My Job
Elizabeth Acevedo
Poem Beginning with Items from The Vienna Museum of Contraception and Abortion
Joyce Peseroff
Skin II: Firebird
Hope Wabuke
Hope Wabuke
Black Funk
Kwame Dawes
Kwame Dawes
The Secret Life of Mary Crow
Dorothea Lasky
This is a Screwdriver, She Says
Karyna McGlynn
California King
Karyna McGlynn
Kiss Me
Sandra Beasley
Ladies Weekend in Brooklyn
Danielle Chapman
Ada Limón
Safia Elhillo
Safia Elhillo
Safia Elhillo

Section III

The Four Nights She’s Gone
Stacey Waite
Lauren Clark
Vortex Temporum
Lauren Clark
What She Thinks as She Waits by the Door
Patricia Smith
That’s where you disappear
Monika Zobel
Photo: White Woman Sitting on Black Woman as Chair on MLK Day
Amanda Johnston
When My Daughter Wasn’t Assaulted
Amanda Johnston
It Was There! Now it’s Gone. No, Wait There it Is
Elegy with a White Shirt
Cynthia Dewi Oka
Anise swallowtail, moulting
Francine J. Harris
Am Ha’aretz
Rosebud Ben-Oni
Elizabeth Clark Wessel
A Woman and Her Job
Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Naturalization Study
Wendy Xu
On Mate & the Work
Ruth Irupé Sanabria
Hours Days Years Unmoor Their Orbits
Rachel Zucker
And Still I Speak of It
Rachel Zucker
January, after El Niño
Ryka Aoki

Section IV

Mary Ruefle
Rachel McKibbens
Hagar in the Wilderness
Tyehimba Jess
If 2017 was a poem title:
Mahogany L. Browne
Kaveh Akbar
Poem for Suheir Hammad
Trish Salah
Ode to the Pantsuit
Lauren K. Alleyne
Madame X-
Lauren K. Alleyne
Matriot Acts
Anne Waldman
In Support of Violence
Christopher Soto
The March
Achy Obejas
Maureen McLane
Maureen McLane
To the breasts when it’s over –
Ellen Hagan
To the woman on St. Nicholas Avenue whose thigh was a wilderness blooming –
Ellen Hagan
Lucky Ladies Sestina
Jill McDonough
Folsom Street Fairytale
Jenny Johnson
There Are New Worlds
Jenny Johnson

Read an Excerpt

after Danez Smith, with a line by Ol’ Dirty Bastard
by Safia Elhillo

if you read this in red maybe i didn’t

survive    every day i go missing    one

eyelash at a time    or sometimes        all

at once        & in the heaven for

blackgirls gone away    we walk in

& out of rivers & wear    our good silks

our good brown velvet bodies    dripping

with sunlight    we sprout leaves & no one

decides for us to cut or keep them    we

bear fruit & self-sustain        we tread water we

pluck the moon for our hair & another grows

in its place    we are sistered or unsistered

but never again to a dead thing    somewhere

a rope turns & turns & our feet never    touch

the ground    somewhere a song plays & plays

& names us with each touch of a needle to our

round black surfaces

i’m hanging out        /partying/with girls/that never die


To the Woman Crying Uncontrollably in the Next Stall
by Kim Addonizio

If you ever woke in your dress at 4am ever

closed your legs to someone you loved opened

them for someone you didn’t moved against

a pillow in the dark stood miserably on a beach

seaweed clinging to your ankles paid

good money for a bad haircut backed away

from a mirror that wanted to kill you bled

into the back seat for lack of a tampon

if you swam across a river under rain sang

using a dildo for a microphone stayed up

to watch the moon eat the sun entire

ripped out the stitches in your heart

because why not if you think nothing &

no one can / listen I love you joy is coming

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