As a poet and essay­ist, my work is root­ed in the impact fem­i­nism has had on my life as a man, par­tic­u­lar­ly as a sur­vivor of child­hood sex­u­al vio­lence. As a lit­er­ary co-trans­la­tor, I write about the rel­e­vance of clas­si­cal Per­sian poet­ry to our con­tem­po­rary lives.

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Towards a Feminist Politics of “Male Survivorship”

Towards a Feminist Politics of “Male Survivorship”

I came to see myself both as a sur­vivor of child­hood sex­u­al vio­lence and as a man com­mit­ted to fem­i­nism after read­ing the essays of Adri­en­ne Rich in the ear­ly 1980s, a time when, as far as I knew, no one was talk­ing about the sex­u­al abuse of boys. Rich’s polemic again­st men’s sex­u­al vio­lence […]

The Ethics of Bearing Witness in Poetry to Violence and Trauma

The Ethics of Bearing Witness in Poetry to Violence and Trauma

The issues raised when one choos­es to make lit­er­ary art out of trau­ma are com­plex and, as have issues sur­round­ing trau­ma in gen­er­al, they have been get­ting more and more atten­tion. Over at the Ploughshares blog, for exam­ple, Tra­cy Strauss has a series well worth read­ing called Writ­ing Trau­ma: Notes of Tran­scen­dence. On Octo­ber 15th, 2017 at the West­ern […]

from The Body in Pain, by Elaine Scarry

from The Body in Pain, by Elaine Scarry

To wit­ness the moment when pain caus­es a rever­sion to the pre-lan­guage of cries and groans is to wit­ness the destruc­tion of lan­guage; but con­verse­ly, to be present when a per­son moves up out of that pre-lan­guage and projects the facts of sen­tience into speech is almost to have been per­mit­ted to be present at […]

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