Every woman has her Pensacola, that shorthand of, “Oh, me too. I know who you are.”
The poems in Pensacola Girls are about abuse and trauma. They’re about the things men often (too often) do to women and children: make them prey, turn their bodies into playthings or objects of derision (depending on their mood), then blame the women, the girls, for their leers and jeers. It is about how men turn women mad, then hope they can Rochester their way out of it by locking them in the attic. It is about how children are often (too often) hurt most by the ones meant to protect them. But it is also about survival. It is about those who survive child abuse speaking for those who did not. It is about women reclaiming the words used as epithets against them, reclaiming their sexuality, reclaiming their madness. The poems in Pensacola Girls are the madwomen in the attic; saying: You think you can hide me away? I’ll burn your whole damn house down.
My mom’s idea: reduce the tits. His looks
are merely consequence. The problem’s me,
a girl, sixteen. Surgeon consulted, booked
to intervene. “You must say you agree.
They overpower anyway. Attract
attention, evil kind. Your clothes can’t hide
what ails men’s minds.”
-Kristin Garth, from “Tits”
Hear me: Our voices are not evaporating; they are growing and we choke out words like: I know you sister. We know each other - as sisters. Our words will eat them alive as they did us and never once more hold us under - waves wash clean in the sands of Pensacola - they do not drown women - they do not kill spirits, nor breasts, nor little girls’ bodies, nor vaginas. We are these women/girls: Dericka, Kristin, Elisabeth, beaten down but refusing to be silenced, nor interred.
-Elisabeth Horan, from “Dericka didn’t ask for it”
Projected release date: late September, 2018
approx 36 pages
$10 + $2 shipping w/ in the US & Canada
$10 + $5 shipping everywhere else
First 25 people to order will also receive a postcard featuring the cover art and two poems from the book.