The Pussy Poems were born partially of a series of workshops I taught after Sexy Witch came out.
They are a rowdy, tender, painful, joyful, wild, raucous, vulnerable journey though the constantly shifting terrain of my relationship with my pussy. And, as was shown in response, my relationship with my vulva mirrors that of many other women; the sometimes tempestuous, often unconscious and always important relationship with the holiest of holies.
I performed the collection in three countries, made an art-piece out of them for a “broadersides” project (a play on the term broadside—the publication of a piece of writing on one side of a single page, but in this case, one side of a piece of plywood), and then retired them.
When Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown was banned from speaking on the House floor after opposing an abortion law—and using the word, “vagina” in the process—I thought it was time for the poems to resurface. I published the poems in electronic format on Facebook. The Pussy Poems got a robust response, and glowing reviews. A resounding request for print copy of the poems led me here to seek funding for a first edition print run.
Resurrecting the The Pussy Poems was an impulsive action, but doing so has brought something solidly home; talking about women’s sexual and reproductive organs is still a revolutionary act. And it’s an important one. As women, we are still working hard to claim our genitals in a historically phallocentric culture. Women react with joy and power to reading this collection of poems.
Men find the topic to be powerful beyond mere titillation. More than just a romp, The Pussy Poems serve as a portal into no-man’s land; a glimpse of ruminations on the love, pain, anger, and joy all bound up in the tender petals of womanhood.
And, perhaps more importantly, the resurrection was brought on by a sad-but-true fact; women’s reproductive rights are under fire—again. With more oppressive legislation being brought with regularity, this is no time to let up. It’s no time to shut up.
It is time to rise up, with Pussy Pride!
Your donations will fund the publication of a limited printing, collectible, first edition run of The Pussy Poems chapbook.
Editor: Kate Bartolotta