The deadline has passed. To all poets who trusted me with their work, I thank you. I’m sure much of the world will, too, except of course for those who think yoga pants are the reason why men have the right to take advantage of women.
Both male and females from many countries bravely sent in their poems, most previously unpublished.
Much of my time now is spent putting together this important piece of work. There are many details to consider, therefore, I ask for patience. I’ve decided to publish the anthology myself and will make it available on Kindle and other venues hopefully by spring.
As I considered submissions, I tried to help a number of writers hone in on their experiences by suggesting minor as well as major edits, some of which were not readily embraced. One of the biggest challenges in putting together such a personal collection was trying to get poets to tell their secrets in more specific ways. Vaguely written poems are only hinting at what really happens and there has been enough fog and Neptunian clouds floating around relating to sexual abuse for far too long.
I feel in my deepest heart that when we tell our stories, we in some way make our perpetrators responsible and they do get the message, whether they’re still on earth or in spirit form. The more specific we are, the easier it is to hit our target, whether it be our parent, grandparent, stranger or boss. Not to mention those who are on the edge of taking advantage of another person.
One of the major issues I encountered in selecting poems relates to the haibun form. They aren’t easy to write, not even by those who’ve published repeatedly in major journals. I myself have struggled with haibun and will no doubt continue to do so. A person can be a great writer with tremendous powerful stories under their belt, but if the haiku(s) or tanka(s) are too concretely related to the prose, then the piece, as an art form, loses integrity. I was tempted at times to throw in the towel and not continue to coax writers to reconsider, but the bottom line is I couldn’t let a haibun out the door without the proper hat…too many master haibun writers were sitting on my shoulder taking me to task.
All contributors will be notified via email when the MeToo+ anthology is made public. I will make it known on social media and elsewhere. Until then, I wish all those in the northern hemisphere a creative spring and for those who live under an entirely different constellation, enjoy the new season.