I’m curating the Delirious Hem Advent Calendar this year with help from its founder, Dusie editor Susana Gardner. The series will run every day from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25 (like an Advent Calendar). This year, we’re addressing rape culture with poems about rape as a response to the recent Rolling Stone article about rape culture at the University of Virginia, which I attended for two years as a Ph.D. student. The University of Virginia’s response to rape allegations has been brutally insufficient, and I honestly can’t understand why President Sullivan still has a job after all the holes she’s dug during her tenure. I feel no pride about being a University of Virginia alum, as I spent only a brief time there and, with the exception of a couple of classes and the friendships I built in the face of disliking the program, did not enjoy that time. I did not enjoy walking past fraternity houses every day to get to school, their red solo cups littering the ground, the boys with lewd comments and privileged airs. I did not enjoy how the entrenched local sexism often trickled into the classroom. UVA is just one University, and maybe it’s not so unique. I didn’t feel the same way at SUNY Buffalo, though, so I know it can be different.
More recently, the poetry community has been rocked by allegations of rape in San Francisco and New York. We’re not surprised by all this. But we’re responding to it with at least 25 poems this month.