This morning marked the beginning of the Delirious Hem Advent Calendar, co-curated by the incredible Jessica Smith and the incredible Susana Gardner, who are as magical as a duo of poetry-powered pegasi (pegasuses? I’m going with pegasi). This year, the poems are in response to a call for poems about the rape culture so terrifyingly prevalent on college campuses. I’m proud to say that my poem appeared today because I am proud beyond proud to be part of this important — as in, vitally important and necessary — project. Before I offer the link, I want to offer some reading material to show just how and why this is important, vital, and necessary.
Smith and Gardner conceived this year’s project after this Rolling Stone article about rape at UVA shattered the structures of silence that institutions and the people who build them have raised around the subject of rape and sexual assault. But it’s also part of an extended conversation about how rape culture extends into and continues under a terrifying silence in other communities, most notably in alt lit — it terrifies me to think that so many communities centered around language, around giving voice to our lives, are also centered around silence and threats against language that speaks openly about rape and sexual assault. On Delirious Hem, you’ll find a series of links to articles about rape culture in alt lit, which are terrifying and chilling.