I am normally more on top of these things, but somehow the email letting me know about the special pre-order discount ($14.95, which is $10 off the cover price) on Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, got buried in my inbox, so I didn’t post this notice as early as I should have. The book, in which a poem of mine appears, will be published in April by Kasva Press, which has graciously extended the discount until Saturday so I could tell you a little bit about this important volume. The number of preorders will help determine the size of the print run, and so I hope you will consider ordering a copy for yourself, your friends, and/or for classes you might be teaching.
Conceived by editors Charles Adés Fishman and Smita Sahay in response to the December 2012 rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey by six men in New Delhi, Veils, Halos & Shackles collects work specifically addressing violence against women by poets from more than two dozen countries, a scope which I believe makes it the first-of-its-kind. The poem of mine that Fishman and Sahay included–which is also the title poem of my upcoming chapbook, to be published in April by Ghostbird Press–is “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer.” I am happy that my voice is part of the chorus of voices for which Veils, Halos & Shackles provides a platform. Fishman and Sahay spent three years gathering these poems from around the world and their labor has borne exceptional fruit.
You can read more about the editors and a few sample poems from the book in the media kit. Here is one by Allene Rasmussen Nichols called “Chorus:”
They will say the sky is not for you,
that the blue in your eyes is a reflection
of the shattered china on the floor
or that the scarlet stains on the counter
are your shackles or that if you die
often enough, your children will be free.
You must come to know the lie, to name your
bruises and broken bones, to call
these walls a prison, to make your voice
like steel, not to break when struck,
but to reverberate until this house
You must teach yourself that you were born
to risk it all, not the next time you fall,
but today, while your breath reeks of poetry
and the sky beckons, and the sun itself
proclaims the promise that your body
can be strong and that your words
can bear the holy seal of joy.
If you’re reading this, chances are you believe poetry does important work in the world. It can only do that work, however, if poems find their way to the people who need them. Preordering a copy of Veils, Halos & Shackles will help make that happen.