With April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, my own trauma is on the forefront of my mind. As a poet, I’ve always been inclined to express the truly inexpressible through my writing, which has in turn become a method of healing for me as well as for countless others whose paths mirror and reflect my own. The sharing of our experiences in navigating our new lives as survivors creates a community of care in which our voices are being heard and valued.
I have used writing as a tool to flesh out my own space in a society that has attempted to rob me of my personhood and condense me to my simplest parts. My words are proof that I am still here and defiant in my drive to remain an active participant in the shaping of my own experience. My writing mimics the power I attempt to reclaim and encourages others to do so as well—in conversation, in validation, and in self-agency.
This April, know this: I am listening.
To explore creative writing as an outlet for emotional healing, I would suggest exploring confessional poetry, as I find it the most therapeutic. Poets.org provides a brief introduction to confessional poetry and its headlining poets here: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/brief-guide-confessional-poetry.
For further guidance and sense of community, check out The Voices and Faces Project’s national writing workshop, The Stories We Tell. The Chicago-based organization seeks to create a culture of visibility for survivors of sexual violence in order to “change minds, hearts, and public policy.” The organization also offers a reading list of both fiction and nonfiction, found at this link: http://www.voicesandfaces.org/writingWorkshop.html.
Grub Street Poetry Team Member