As a woman and mother who self-identifies as a multiracial Mexicana and who is a special education professor, I see our new president as the antithesis of all I have ever believed in and strived for. His views on women, immigrants, Mexicans, and those with disabilities have begun to impact federal, state, and local policies that aim to protect – though not always well – the rights and liberties of "minorities" or all those who are not "privileged" by their gender, status, or background in our country. I have watched in horror and unabashed astonishment as constitutional rights, such as the right to assemblage and freedom of speech, have been narrowly interpreted and have limited, to varying degrees, freedoms to which we have had access.Read More
I don't think I need to preface these photographs except that they give me hope. These protests give me a lot of hope during this dark & dismal time, like many others. I woke up today feeling sad, tired, angry, and confused. I protested on Sunday at Battery Park (as I was personally unable to go to JFK the night before). It did a lot for my spirit, and I'm hoping these protests are an indication of the political energy and activism we need for the days forward. Looking at all the protest photos on social media is giving me that glimmer of something I need. I'm not entirely sure if it's just hope, but it's the knowledge that other humans do care about each other. It's easy to forget this, especially now.Read More
In times of crisis, we rely on art to be bolder, to express how we feel and think. This is why I'm grateful that 17 artists, currently students at Parsons The New School for Design, have come together to express the concept of identity. This exhibit is called “id: ME,” and is currently being shown at the Undercurrent Gallery in the East Village. Yesterday, the exhibit opened, and it's a key exploration in discovering the boundaries between between real and fake identities.Read More
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
On Saturday, I went to the Women's March in NYC, where I live. Overall, it was a truly amazing and groundbreaking experience for me, as it was one of the first real beacons of hope for me post-election and inauguration. It was inspirational to see so many people come together to fight for a cause; it's necessary if we want to create positive change, to exercise our own political power. Because, no, we don't have to take it or accept it.
That being said, of course, there were definitely problematic things about some of the language being used during the protest, largely transphobic and dismissive of people with disabilities and special needs. This, of course, was highly disappointing and upsetting to me, because we don't want use our language to isolate, or to marginalize the same people we are trying to fight for.
For instance, using language to talk about Trump's "tiny hands," however funny, defeats the purpose. There are so many reasons to dislike Trump, but using his physical appearance is a form of bullying that he himself does, and we should be better than that. It's also making assertions based on gender, which is problematic, because it plays into the same ultra-masculine rhetoric we should be stepping away from.
In addition, we need to be careful about excluding people who do not have vaginas or uteruses from feeling as if they aren't women, since not all women have uteruses and being a woman is more just because of the genitals you have. In general, gender is extremely nuanced and there are many people who don't neatly fit into the "man or woman" binary (like myself), and we need to be cognizant of that, and use our language to reflect that. I know I'm not saying anything new here, but I do think this is a necessary reminder. We need to do better. We can do better.
That being said, I am extremely proud of all of the people who protested yesterday, in their hearts, minds, and bodies. I'm proud of the cities who held rallies and marches, which is why I rounded up a few of my favorite photos on Instagram from the Marches. Because in the words of Malcolm X, "the future belongs to those who prepare for it today."Read More
BY LISA MARIE BASILE
The below poems are samples of what's to come from our Luminous e-book, which will be available in the coming days. It will available for a $1 and 100% the proceeds will go toward Planned Parenthood. When donations are made, receipts will be available publicly on this website.
I solicited for The Luminous project this past fall as a way to combat darkness. It, in all honesty, felt like the right thing to do — to give voice, to make a space for beauty. But I will be honest: part of it felt futile. I was in such pain (as we all were) and everything felt pointless, misdirected, weak. How could poetry enact change or fight against immorality? How could we find magic? I struggled with the idea that, in the face of such absolute disarray, the arts even had a place. But this is the United States and art, poetry, song has always had a renaissance in times of fear and oppression and hatred. It always will, and in many ways, that is what's remembered long after the battles and the wars and the infighting and the opposing sides.
Things have always been painful. But there is so much at stake, for so many people here and around the world. Which is why power is in the small things — saying hello to a stranger, listening up when we need to, sharing a poem, doing a kindness. And in the more specific: marching, protesting, organizing, signing up to learn more about conflict resolution. Nothing is too big or too small, I realized, especially when reading these poems. That we were flooded with statements — spell-poems — that called to inner power and resolution (although all different in nature) said something to me. It said that we unite when we need to. And just knowing that makes a vast difference. You're not alone. We're not alone.
Anthony Michael Morena
Emily Rose Cole
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Lisa Marie Basile is the author of APOCRYPHAL and the chapbooks Andalucia and war/lock. She is the editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine, and her work has appeared in PANK, The Atlas Review, Tin House, Coldfront, The Rumpus Best American Poetry, PEN American Center, Dusie, The Ampersand Review, and many other publications. She’s an essayist and journalist as well. She holds an MFA from The New School.
“The prophecy said we would unite the people of the world . . . Look around,” Jamie continues, desperate with hope.Read More
Political commentator/comedian Bill Maher may have been right when he announced, about a month or so before the election, on his show Real Time with Bill Maher, that the Republican Party can no longer consider itself the "Socially Conservative Party." Republican candidate and, now, President-elect Donald Trump has been caught on tape agreeing with Howard Stern that his own daughter Ivanka is a "Piece of ass," has been quoted saying that pregnancy is an "inconvenience" and, finally, was recorded in 2005 bragging about sexually assaulting women and getting away with it because, as he put it, "When you’re a star they let you do it." It strikes me as a contradiction that, despite all the evidence excluding Trump from the socially conservative category, 88 percent of evangelical voters, notorious value voters, backed him as their nominee.Read More
Our monthly round up.Read More
As the Trump campaign’s self-implosion continues, and the candidate increasingly lashes out, many have pointed to historical parallels: Hitler in the bunker, Nixon at the height of Watergate. But for me, the figure who comes to mind is not a politician but a literary character: Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth, whose “vaulting ambition” led to murder, civil war, and his own eventual destruction. Now I’m not saying that Trump has murdered anyone (Don’t sue me, Donald!), but the parallels are there.Read More
Phoebe Rusch is a Zell fellow in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she has received Hopwood awards in screenwriting and non-fiction. She is working on her first novel. Her essays also appear on the World Policy Journal blog and in Luna Luna. She blogs at https://phoebecrusch.wordpress.com/Read More
Meghann Plunkett is a poet, performer, coder and feminist. Her work has appeared in national and international literary journals including Muzzle Magazine, The Paris-American, Simon & Schuster's anthology Chorus, and Southword. She teaches creative workshops at Omega Institute and co-directs a children's summer camp called Writers' Week Aboard the Black Dog Tall Ships in Martha's Vineyard. Currently, Meghann is an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University.Read More
Linguists have had a field day with Donald Trump. His speeches are geared for a fourth-grade reading level, with very few four-syllable words. He doesn’t use any complex sentence structures. His vocabulary is notoriously poor and centers around a few repetitive words such as "tremendous" and "problem." Most insidious of all, he ends his rambling nonsense with words such as "problem," "liars," and "losers"--which is what most of his viewers eventually take away from his speeches. I never thought I’d see a presidential candidate make Dubya look like an eloquent orator, but here we are.Read More