Out now from Querencia Press!
You can listen to audio of the launch reading featuring Limi Bauer, Danielle Bero, Margo Berdeshevsky, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Raye Hendrix, Anndee Hochman, Amy Hsieh, Vicki Iorio, Marti Mattia, Catherine Ragsdale, Lauren Rheaume, Marjorie Tesser, and Cynthia White on SoundCloud here.
From the Introduction by Rachel Neve-Midbar and Jennifer Saunders:
"This book is about breaking silence, about finding language. This book is about the womb-bearing body in all of its permutations. The uterus that bleeds.
We want to talk about menstruation, to tell our stories. Half of the world's population is womb-bearing, yet the subject of monthly bleeding remains taboo. Stained celebrates a body that has long remained a site of contention and conflict. For centuries menstruating people have been forced to navigate social perceptions which stigmatize, marginalize, and undermine the female fertility cycle. The ability to write our menstruation stories, to speak out loud, is new, vibrant, and represents an emerging body of literature. The writers in Stained bring the abject, the blood of their bodies, to the page.
Stained rose out of the whispers, was born in a Facebook post where one woman asked in a closed group of over 4000 female and non-binary poets from around the world, “where to publish a poem about that secret subject: menstruation?” And the answers: journals where only women published, only women read. We saw the online trappings of whispers behind hands, subjects only suitable within the Red Tent. It was 2019. Hadn’t we all just experienced a viral #MeToo, hadn’t we all just read Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person”? Would the shame imposed by patriarchy about this most essential part of our bodies never end?
So we sent out a call and hundreds of menstruators from all over the world, of every age and so many diverse cultural backgrounds answered. They answered loud and proud, with incredible courage. The writers in Stained offer their menarche stories, sometimes magical, sometimes traumatic; their menopause stories filled with longings and goodbyes. But they are also writing all that comes in between, the stains, blood-soaked sex, the babies wanted or not and the bleeding after. Endometriosis, PMDD, birth control, body dysmorphia—and many, many stories of medical mistreatment. The leaking pad, the grossed-out boyfriend, the fear of being the first in class to get it, the fear of being the last in class to get it. Waiting for the blood to come. Waiting for the blood to end."