#MeToo movement leads to women's poetry anthology
A wave of anger and solidarity among women worldwide that began with the Hollywood revelations about film producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assaults have led to an anthology of poetry, to be launched on International Women’s Day.
The anthology is titled #MeToo, the two-word hashtag that was used on social media to spread the word and share experiences about the extent of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. It is edited by poet Deborah Alma, with a foreword by MP Jess Phillips.
Deborah Alma, aka The Emergency Poet, said: “This book came straight out of a long thread on my Facebook page. I asked women friends of mine to add their name on the thread if they hadn’t experienced any form of sexual harassment in their lives and I was surprised to find that of the 200 women that started to share some of their stories , two or three could say that it had never happened to them. My surprise was not that there were so few, but that there were any women at all.
“Someone suggested we collect these stories … I am very proud of this book, proud of the poets for sharing and for putting their names to their words. It is a painful and difficult read a great deal of the time, I get that. But taken slowly, I hope that the reader will hear its rallying cry of anger and impatience. We have had enough. The final section of the book deals with a coming back to the light; they are poems of recovery and strength out of some very dark places.”
She added: “All of the artwork for the book, the cover and internal illustrations, the poems, the editing and publishing work has been donated. It has been a wonderful collective enterprise.”
The anthology contains the work of 80 women poets. All proceeds of the book, which will cost £10, will go to Women’s Aid UK. It will be launched on 8 March, International Women’s Day, at Waterstone’s in Tottenham Court Road, London, and at the Stanza poetry festival in St Andrews. It is published by Fair Acre Press.