The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: Nerve Chorus by Willa Carroll

SYNAPTIC
Haywire mess of us, volted
meat, yellow fre in axon trees,
blasted branches of the vagus
nerve, wandering from brain
to gut, shunting ions, charged
when our warm tongues meet––
terpsichorean muscles, talking
straight from neuron’s hot seat.

This selection comes from the book, Nerve Chorus, available from The Word Works.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Willa Carroll is the author of Nerve Chorus (The Word Works), one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Poetry Books of 2018 and a Small Press Distribution Bestseller. A finalist for The Georgia Poetry Prize, she was the winner of Tupelo Quarterly’s TQ7 Poetry Prize and Narrative Magazine’s Third Annual Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, Narrative, Tin House, The Slowdown, and elsewhere. Her poetry videos and multimedia works have been featured in Narrative Outloud, Interim Poetics, Writers Resist, etc. She holds a MFA from Bennington 

Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: Nerve Chorus by Willa Carroll

CONTAMINATED DOCUMENT

You want a hunk of my fank? You’ll swallow yellow #5, tinder,
maxed-out credit cards, wet-cut hay, gunpowder, old stamps,
pink clouds of fiberglass fecked with asbestos. The mind is built
on wind, the more important you feel, the worse the storm. I
wear my name like a tag on borrowed air. I won’t administer as
your night-nurse, not even in your inoculation dream. All the
warm human milk in this world won’t balm your need.

This selection comes from the book, Nerve Chorus, available from The Word Works.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Willa Carroll is the author of Nerve Chorus (The Word Works), one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Poetry Books of 2018 and a Small Press Distribution Bestseller. A finalist for The Georgia Poetry Prize, she was the winner of Tupelo Quarterly’s TQ7 Poetry Prize and Narrative Magazine’s Third Annual Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, Narrative, Tin House, The Slowdown, and elsewhere. Her poetry videos and multimedia works have been featured in Narrative Outloud, Interim Poetics, Writers Resist, etc. She holds a MFA from Bennington 

Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation by Cynthia Manick

Why A Colored Girl Will Slice You If You Talk Wrong About Motown

Patricia Smith

The men and women who coupled, causing us, first
arrived confounded. Surrounded by teetering towers
of no, not now and you shoulda known better, they
cowered and built little boxes of northern home,
crammed themselves inside, feasted on the familiar
of fat skin and the unskimmed, made gods of doors.
When we came — the same insistent bloody and question
we would have been south — they clutched us, plumped
us on government cereal drenched in Carnation milk,
slathered our hair, faces, our fat wiggling arms and legs
with Vaseline. We shined like the new things we were.
The city squared its teeth, smiled oil, smelled the sour
each hour left at the corner of our mouths. Our parents
threw darts at the day. They romanced shut factories,
waged hot battle with skittering roaches and vermin,
lumbered after hunches. Their newborn children grew
like streetlights. We grew like insurance payments.
We grew like resentment. And since no tall sweetgum
thrived to offer its shouldered shade, no front porch
lesson spun wide to craft our wrong or righteous,
our parents loosed us, into the crumble, into the glass,
into the hips of a new city. They trusted exploded
summer hydrants, scarlet licorice whips and crumbling
rocks of government cheese to conjure a sort of joy,
trusted joy to school us in the woeful limits of jukeboxes
and moonwash. Freshly dunked in church water, slapped
away from double negatives and country ways, we were
orphans of the north star, dutifully sacrificed, our young
bodies arranged on sharp slabs of boulevard. We learned
what we needed, not from our parents and their rumored
south, but from the gospel seeping through the sad gap
in Mary Wells’ grin. Smokey slow-sketched pictures
of our husbands, their future skins flooded with white light,
their voices all remorse and atmospheric coo. Lil’ Stevie
squeezed his eyes shut on the soul notes, replacing his
dark with ours. Diana was the bone our mamas coveted,
the flow of slip silver they knew was buried deep beneath
their rollicking heft. Every lyric, growled or sweet from
perfect brown throats, was instruction: Sit pert, pout, and
seamed silk. Then watch him beg. Every spun line was
consolation: You’re such a good girl. If he has not arrived,
he will. Every wall of horn, every slick choreographed
swivel, threaded us with the rhythm of the mildly wild.
We slept with transistor radios, worked the two silver knobs,
one tiny ear bud blocking out the roar of our parents’ tardy
attempts to retrieve us. Instead, we snuggled with the Temps,
lined up five pretty men across. And damned if they didn’t
begin every one of their songs with the same word. Girl

This selection comes from the book, Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation, available from Jamii Publishing.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others. Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, Manick was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. She is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem “Things I Carry Into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems, an organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Alice James Books. Jamii Publishing can be reached via Twitter at https://twitter.com/jamiipub.

Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the 2018 NAACP Image Award, and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, a
collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, Life According to Motown; the children’s book Janna and the Kings and the history Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series.

Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation by Cynthia Manick

Rachel Eliza Griffiths
CHOSEN FAMILY

When you find your people you’ll still look over your shoulder sometimes
to see if you’re being followed. You’re hoping one or two people you don’t
know will want to see where you’re going. When you find your people
they won’t ask you where you came from because they’ll already know
& if they don’t they’ll be busy putting good food on your plate & asking you
if you’re hungry or broke. When you find your people they’ll tell you
to use any bathroom you want, marry anybody you want, work side-by-side
together for long hours in close quarters without any fear of being harmed.
When you find your people they’ll throw the ball to you, offer you
their love song & say you need to listen to this track & dance with us
whether or not you know all the steps. When you find your people
they’ll say Do You Remember & you’ll say Yes until you remember together
the different ways the whole thing happened. When you find your people
they’ll say wear whatever you want, wear the tightest dress, wear the hot pants,
wear your birthday suit. They’ll say we love your skin & drag & natural hair
& we love you naturally so please just live & don’t let anybody kill you
or tell you they’ve killed you & you’re just fine the dead way you are. When you
find your people don’t leave them & don’t let them off the hook when they are
in the wrong. When they are trying to take themselves out of the world
lay your hands on them & call them yours & yours & yours.
When you find your people be sure you’ve been preparing your heart
the entire way by loving your difficult self & what you pretend you don’t know
but you do so that when you see them smiling into your eyes, the soft
or tough flags of their hands covering yours in a truth so light & fierce you see
you all have been midair for some time & could go higher & burn some shit up
if you remembered what else is good everywhere
& everywhere you look.

This selection comes from the book, Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation, available from Jamii Publishing.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others. Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, Manick was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. She is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem “Things I Carry Into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems, an organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Alice James Books. Jamii Publishing can be reached via Twitter at @jamiipub.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is an artist. Her most recent collection of poetry is Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books, 2015). Griffiths’ work has appeared widely, including The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Progressive, Gulf Coast, Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, Lit Hub, Buzzfeed, American Poetry Review, BAX: Best American Experimental Writing (2016), and many others. She is a recipient of numerous fellowships including Kimbilio, Cave Canem Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Provincetown Fine Art Work Center, Millay Colony, and Yaddo. She lives in New York City.

Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation by Cynthia Manick

Keisha-Gaye Anderson
T O M Y S I S T E R S


Be fabulous
I mean,
stand up and say
I am
without words
know that
you are moonlight
pushing aside the night
a hearth warming
chests into a wave of motion
when grief slowly siphons breath
No need to scream about
what is not
or lament
the crazy
of they —
the oldest tale of
hungry chasing its tail
We are older,
before all that
buying and selling
Reluctant or not,
we are
creators of culture
purveyors of cool
distilled diamonds
ditching the dirt
of a thousand long marches
through manacles
cane and cotton
assembly lines
back doors only
first-name nannies
wet nurses whose own kids
rocked with rickets
medical guinea pigs
men who are always boys
who are made the blame
for a leaky economy
built like a sieve
in seismic ground
We been around long enough
to know
that no man
put salt in the ocean
that Nat Turner
was speaking to God himself
as himself
and then made those two selves
agree to proceed
with an overdue lesson
We are to lead
even reluctantly
because
time breathes in
and out
on a scale the mind
can’t measure
but which the soul sees
and plots a journey
of light
sound
color
vibration
a path up and out for those
trapped inside the smallness
of things
a gracious door of salvation
out of ignorance
Don’t spend time
trying to convince me
or her or them
you’re fabulous
just BE
what you already
are

This selection comes from the book, Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation, available from Jamii Publishing.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others. Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, Manick was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. She is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem “Things I Carry Into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems, an organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Alice James Books. Jamii Publishing can be reached via Twitter at https://twitter.com/jamiipub

Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a Jamaican-born poet, author, and visual artist. She is the author of Gathering the Waters (Jamii, 2014) and Everything Is Necessary (Willow, 2019). Keisha’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been widely published in national literary journals, magazines, and
anthologies that include Small Axe Salon, Kweli Literary Journal, Renaissance Noire, The
Killens Review of Arts and Letters, Mosaic Literary Magazine, African Voices Magazine, The
Mom Egg Review, and others. Keisha received the Editors’ Choice recognition for the
Numinous Orisons, Luminous Origin Literary Award for Poetry (Agape Editions)
for her poetry collection A Spell for Living. Keisha is a past participant of the VONA
Voices and Callaloo writing workshops, and was short-listed for the Small Axe Literary
Competition. She holds an MFA in creative writing from The City College, CUNY.

Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation by Cynthia Manick

Yesenia Montilla
HAMILTON HEIGHTS STARBUCKS
Been waiting for a Hamilton Heights Starbucks
for 10 years. Dreaming of Sunday morning papers
& poems while sippin’ my triple venti half sweet
non-fat caramel macchiato to the latest coffee house
appropriate tunes. I wanna be a white girl, no cares
just lounging about with hipster black glasses & a cute
but non threatening boyfriend waiting for me downtown
so we can hit up first Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum
before an indie concert at the pier at dusk in fall.
I want a world where all those things do not spell gentrification.
Where I don’t think about Cornel West being arrested in
Ferguson between my third shot of espresso & my weekly
trip to Whole Foods & for a moment I am sea sick, because
middle passage is still happening, except now we are being
transported in police vans to prisons made just for us.
No one drinks white mochas but still it stays on the menu.
Last night, I had to bring my 80 year old neighbor
my leftovers because these days her foot don’t work
too well & her children have forgotten her name
& cat food is just so damn expensive ever since
the C-Town supermarket got themselves an organic section.
In order to wake up each morning, I can’t think too hard on this world.
Maybe I should really be careful what I
wish for, that Starbucks is coming whether I wish it so
or not. & did I mention, my 80 year old neighbor used to be
a concert pianist. She played at Lincoln Center, her whole
life dedicated to her brown elegant fingers touching white —

This selection comes from the book, Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation, available from Jamii Publishing.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others. Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, Manick was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. She is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem “Things I Carry Into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems, an organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Alice James Books. Jamii Publishing can be reached via Twitter at https://twitter.com/jamiipub

Yesenia Montilla is an Afro Latina poet & translator, daughter of immigrants & native New Yorker.
Her poetry has appeared in The Wide Shore, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, Academy of
American Poets Poem-a-Day and others. She received her MFA from Drew University
in poetry & poetry in translation and is co-director of CantoMundo. The Pink Box is
her first collection and is published by Willow Books. It was long-listed for the Pen
Open Book Award 2016. She lives in Harlem with her love & writes her best poems
while at work.

Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation by Cynthia Manick

I WISH THE TRESS COULD SWAY TO MARVIN AND ARETHA

because sometimes I forget/ soil/ can do more than hold/
wooden or metal boxes/ it pulls on elements/ my shins have
long forgotten/ there are seven/ different words for dirt/ in
French/ we hear/ what is left/ in the woods/ children
with twelve/ fingers or webbed toes/ I used to pray/ for
normal appendages/ I often stopped/ myself from talking
out loud/ singing where others/ could hear/ but we know/
of hushed tales/ somebody’s callin/ my name/ about where
wounds/ use to go/ to the trees/ swinging/ someone’s Black
uncle/ or son/ sometime daughter’s under/ steady stars/ bright
as birth/ day candles/ we can’t blow/ but let’s not talk/ of
dark/ histories/ of how you and I/ are still alive/ like three flowered
maples or perennials/ unculled/ or how standing/ on a hilltop/
just over there/ with headphones/ a seashell of Mo-/ town and
Aretha/ you forget the universe/ is expanding/ as if the gods are/
tired of our sand/ and stone/ bones/ brutal ozone’s/ the oldest tree/
is over 4,000 years old/ but what if/ the bark doesn’t hold/ like it use
to/ the bloom turns shallow/ cause you can die/ from survival you
know/ it’s like working three jobs/ the weight of limbs/ in winter/
so that tree/ has breathed a lot/ of shit/ geographic shadows/ but soul
music/ can be/ a prayer/ and what if/ it could reach/ every spore/
every carbonated leaf/ note/ pollinating dreams like bees/ down
to the root/ until every bark/ vibrates/ under our palms/ and what
if Marvin/ and Aretha/ can make them remember/ what love
sounds like/ and all the wild things/ come so close/ the trees
no longer die/ standing up.

This selection comes from the book, Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation, available from Jamii Publishing.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others. Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, Manick was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. She is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem “Things I Carry Into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems, an organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Alice James Books. Jamii Publishing can be reached via Twitter at https://twitter.com/jamiipub

Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: We Will Not Be Silenced edited by Christine E. Ray, Kindra M. Austin, Candice & Louisa Daquin Rachel Finch

TW: Rape

Quiet Now
Amanda Coleman
You left
And for the longest time
It was so loud
The emptiness inside of me
Left your vicious words
Ruminating off my walls
And through my core
It was so loud
The pieces of me
Screaming to be
Whole again
For years
It was so loud
But finally
It’s quiet now
And I can hear
My own voice again

This selection comes from the book, We Will Not Be Silenced, available from Indie Blu(e).  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera .

We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art is the brainchild of Kindra M. Austin, Candice Louisa Daquin, Rachel Finch, and Christine E. Ray. The four indie writers and survivors felt compelled to organize a response after wide-spread, highly publicized cases of rape, sexual harassment, and misconduct. They chose to advocate, educate, and resist through art. The editors opened submissions for just two weeks to women and men around the world. The response from writers and artists was overwhelming: the final anthology includes 166 pieces of writing and art from 95 contributors around the globe.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: We Will Not Be Silenced edited by Christine E. Ray, Kindra M. Austin, Candice & Louisa Daquin Rachel Finch

TW: Rape

dark intentions
Linda M. Crate
“i bet you don’t remember me,” you smirked with that devil may cry
grin; and i froze like a doe in the headlights, unable to move—i
remember being little more than a girl and you were my boyfriend
and your sister wasn’t watching us, of how powerless and angry you
made me feel when you kissed my lips thrice when i told you no all
three times; of how terrified i was when you tried to force yourself on
me—but in a rush of adrenaline somehow i was able to keep hold of
my flowers, my innocence was shattered though; i realized that the
big bad wolf’s of little red riding hood weren’t strangers but rather
people you thought you knew—there was no turning back to that girl i
once was, and every time i hear the compliment, “you have a pretty
smile” i hear your voice saying the same thing; and i am haunted by
it—such a nice thing to have someone say to me, and yet i cannot
embrace it as i should because i am reminded of you and your dark
intentions.

This selection comes from the book, We Will Not Be Silenced, available from Indie Blu(e).  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera .

We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art is the brainchild of Kindra M. Austin, Candice Louisa Daquin, Rachel Finch, and Christine E. Ray. The four indie writers and survivors felt compelled to organize a response after wide-spread, highly publicized cases of rape, sexual harassment, and misconduct. They chose to advocate, educate, and resist through art. The editors opened submissions for just two weeks to women and men around the world. The response from writers and artists was overwhelming: the final anthology includes 166 pieces of writing and art from 95 contributors around the globe.

 
 

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: We Will Not Be Silenced edited by Christine E. Ray, Kindra M. Austin, Candice & Louisa Daquin Rachel Finch

TW: Rape

Safety at Age Eleven

Wilda W. Morris

Grandmother would have kept me

safe had she known her beloved nephew

visiting from Kansas would trap me

on the basement stair and touch me

in the wrong places. I kept her safe

from heartbreak by not telling.

And Mother would have kept me safe

had she suspected. She’d warned me

about strangers, told me where to kick

if I needed to get away, but she was at work

and had too many worries already

so I kept her safe, too.

I didn’t go to the basement again

until he was back on the west-bound train.

And until now, I never told anyone.

This selection comes from the book, We Will Not Be Silenced, available from Indie Blu(e).  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera .

We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art is the brainchild of Kindra M. Austin, Candice Louisa Daquin, Rachel Finch, and Christine E. Ray. The four indie writers and survivors felt compelled to organize a response after wide-spread, highly publicized cases of rape, sexual harassment, and misconduct. They chose to advocate, educate, and resist through art. The editors opened submissions for just two weeks to women and men around the world. The response from writers and artists was overwhelming: the final anthology includes 166 pieces of writing and art from 95 contributors around the globe.