December 21, 2014



In 2008 Iain Biggs invited me and others to respond to his book Debatable Lands, Vol.1 (Wild Conversations Press). In that book he told the story of a female bard, Mairi nighean Alisdair Ruaidh who requested that after death she be buried face down, so that her dirt-filled mouth be stopped from uttering wickedness for eternity. A harrowing allegory of female artistry under calamitous geopolitical circumstances, it reminded me of The Scarlet Letter.

For 25 years, MARIA DAMON has provided her expertise to students at the University of Minnesota, where she was a professor of English with affiliations in the departments of American Studies; Gender, Women, and Sexuality; Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature; Theatre Art and Dance; and, the Center for Jewish Studies. Damon received a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a B.A. degree from Hampshire College in Humanities and Arts. She currently resides in Brooklyn and is currently Professor and Chair of Humanities and Media Studies at the Pratt Institute.

Curatorial note: The following poems are a response to a call for poetry about 
rape culture for the annual Delirious Advent Feature; the call is in turn an 
immediate response to the Rolling Stone story “A Rape on Campus” about rape 
culture at the University of Virginia. However, they are also part of a larger 
conversation about rape in poetry communities. Curated by Jessica Smith and 
Susana Gardner.

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