(The Daily Rumpus) To Continue Moving Forward

8 maanden geleden


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AWP is intense, every year—this is my fourth year attending. It’s been nearly two weeks, but I am still decompressing, processing, hiding under covers

   

AWP is intense, every year—this is my fourth year attending. It’s been nearly two weeks, but I am still decompressing, processing, hiding under covers when possible. I don’t consider myself an introvert, but I’m also not in the habit of congregating with 12,000 professional colleagues for four days straight.

I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by the Rumpus table at the bookfair, filled the room at our amazing offsite event, attended one of my panels, or otherwise was present and shared kind words with me about The Rumpus, our refocused mission, this newsletter, and all the work we’ve been doing these last fifteen months. Those conversations mean everything to me.

Below are just a few photos from Tampa for those of you who couldn’t be there. And if you’re hankering for our brand-new matriarchy mug, we’ve put a limited quantity online in our store, so hurry up and snag yours today!

I met a man, a writer, at AWP, and this meeting has stuck in my mind. Partly, I just really enjoyed this writer’s work. It’s a wonderful thing to meet a writer on the verge of publishing a brilliant debut novel, and to be able to help champion that writer’s work.

The way this meeting has lingered… that’s not about writing, or even about this man. He shared some stories with me, about parenting his daughter through difficult circumstances, circumstances that echo my own childhood. He worries, it seemed to me, that he won’t be enough. That having only one stable parent can’t be enough. And truthfully, when a parent is present in a young child’s life and is also a destructive force in that child’s life, there will be damage, fallout. It will reverberate through the child’s life.

Still, having a parent who is present, who is sober, who shows up, this matters. It might be the difference between whether and how that child grows beyond the destruction. For me, it was everything. Did my mother do enough? She did the best she could do. Did she keep me safe? She kept me safe as best she could. My mother allowed me the agency to fight back against my father. A chorus of adults was always trying to quiet me, and yes, sometimes my mother joined that chorus. But she had already taught me to question authority. To speak out, to be loud.

If I could tell this man just one thing, it would be to keep showing up. To be present for his daughter and for himself, to live his dreams so that she will know she can live hers, and to make sure she knows that no one, not even a parent, is allowed to abuse her.

We’ve reopened submissions for ENOUGH. Please share this news widely. If you have thoughts on how I can reach women and LGBTQI people of color, please let me know. I want to hear from those communities that are at the highest risk of assault, that exist on the margins, that don’t have access to the tools a woman like me has had access to.

After all, I am the child who grew into a woman that is not mired in destruction. It took a long time for this to be true. There are days when it still doesn’t feel true, when I feel like a lightning rod for suffering, like a bad luck charm. But there are more days when I feel proud. I feel safe. I feel like I’m moving forward. And to continue moving forward, when you were once a child trapped in a dark corner, that is everything.

Love,
Marisa

P.S. Through March 31, purchase a yearly Letters in the Mail subscription or a 6-month Rumpus Book Club subscription and we’ll send you your own signed, hardcover copy of Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith! Offer valid while supplies last. Due to shipping costs, this offer is only available for US subscriptions. As a reminder, these subscription programs allow us to continue to exist, and we are ever grateful for your support.

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But there was wisdom in the scars. Messages in a tiny bottle of terror wrapped in skin.

THE THREAD: VOLCANOES

This is not the water of your placid imagination. This is the fury water.

JUST DOING IT: A CONVERSATION WITH MALLORY ORTBERG

What does it mean when you’re not honest about what you’re doing?

RUMPUS ORIGINAL POETRY: TWO POEMS BY ELIZABETH LINDSEY ROGERS

& suddenly we seemed to know nothing // but the evaporating world.

THE FINAL GIRL

I wanted to be scared because being terrified taught me how to survive.

THE JOURNEY TOWARD ELSEWHERE: NATALIA SYLVESTER’S EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME

Dichotomy is the immigrant reality.

STRONG ISLAND’S HORIZON

Whose lives are visible? Whose pain is just? Whose grief is vocal? Such inquiry is not rhetorical.

RUMPUS ORIGINAL FICTION: HANDSOME CAB

You don't really know who you are until you know which car you're following.

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