In honour of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, The Tyee has a post up called “Verse for Hurt Women, Known and Still Hidden.” In the article, Fiona Tinwei Lam reminds us of the targeted killing of 14 women engineering students at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989, and further reminds us of the gender-based violence is happening locally, in Canada, and around the world today.
Lam ends the article by sharing two poems from a B.C. anthology of fiction, nonfiction and poetry by women and men writers on the theme of violence against women, an anthology to which I am proud to have contributed–Walk Myself Home: An Anthology to End Violence Against Women. Follow the link to read the heartbreaking “Misogyny” by Yvonne Blomer and the very brave poem “Les” by Janet Baker: Verse for Hurt Women, Known and Still Hidden. To purchase the book (and read my own contribution within its covers, “A Story Without the Word ‘No’ Spoken Aloud”), please visit the publisher’s website: Caitlin Press. As Lam reports in her article, royalties from the sale of Walk Myself Home go to the B.C. Society of Transition Houses. Caitlin Press donated 150 books to be distributed to each Transition House. Furthermore, the press partnered with the We Can BC Coalition, which works to combat violence against women. Please consider buying a copy if you can.
If you are looking for further reading on gendered violence and language, today I also discovered the “Women & Violence: A Special Issue” by Hook and Eye, which I can wholeheartedly recommend. I thought that the short essay by Erin Wunker, “Sight unseen: re-membering the absent referent,” was especially thought-provoking for its examination of the way that violent images lose their impact through the way we use language. It articulates my discomfort with youth joking around with words like “rape” in a way that I had not seen done before.