"We need means for bringing the songs of survivors and those who would be survivors to each other and to bystanders in ways that elevate the experiences to social and legal consciousness. We need Grabbed to bring humanity into our public conversation and into the law that mediates sexual and gendered violence and opens our understanding to the many factors, like race, sexual and gender identity, class, and religion, to name just a few, that enable and excuse them both."
--PROFESSOR ANITA HILL, FROM THE GRABBED AFTERWORD
Grabbed: Poets and Writers on Sexual Assault, Empowerment, and Healing
A gender-inclusive anthology of poetry and prose that addresses the physical and psychological act of being “grabbed,” or in any way assaulted.
The #MeToo movement, the infamous Access Hollywood tape, and the depraved and hypocritical actions of celebrities, politicians, CEOs, and other powerful people have caused people all over the nation to speak out in outrage, to express allegiance for the victims of these assaults, and to raise their voices against a culture that has allowed this behavior to continue for too long.
The editors asked writers and poets to add to the conversation about what being “grabbed” means to them in their own experience or in whatever way the word “grabbed” inspired them. What they received are often searing, heart-rending works, ranging in topic from sexual misconduct to racial injustice, from an unwanted caress to rape, expressed in powerful, beautifully crafted prose and poetry.
"Grabbed. It’s an apt description. We’re speaking about a kind of heist, not only of an individual’s physical being but, very possibly, of her spirit. Or his. The stories collected here –though predominantly written by women—remind us that a man, particularly a very young one, can also be the prey. But here’s the thing that distinguishes sexual predation from larceny: Stolen goods can be retrieved. Stolen innocence cannot."
--JOYCE MAYNARD, FROM THE GRABBED FOREWORD
The writers represented here, some very well known, such as Rita Dove, Jericho Brown, Eileen Myles, Ana Menendez, and Sapphire, as well as some newer voices not yet fully discovered, have mined their collective experiences to reveal their most vulnerable moments, and in some cases, to narrate moments that they have had previously been unwilling or unable to speak of. What results is a collection of emotional, hard-hitting pieces that speak to the aftermath of violation—whether mental, emotional, or physical.
This book is for everyone who has ever felt alone in their experience of being grabbed, violated, overlooked, and silenced. This anthology is their voice. It is their war cry. It is their plea to be heard and be seen. We want this volume to provide hope to those who have yet to harness the power of their own story. Years in the making, the stitching together of this important narrative chronicles a moment in time which is, unfortunately, also timeless.
GRABBED: POETS & WRITERS on SEXUAL ASSAULT, EMPOWERMENT, and HEALING, is edited by inaugural poet Richard Blanco, Elisa Albo, Caridad Moro-Gronlier, and Nikki Moustaki (a.k.a. The Blue Room Collective). From engineer to educator, from memoirist to poet, we make up an interdisciplinary group that views the same topic through a variety of lenses. We vary in religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic backgrounds, and ancestries, but we meet on common ground on this topic, as all of us have our own work—and experiences—in the pages of this book.