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In Memoriam: Professor Emerita Marianne Githens

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In late February, Goucher received the sad news that Professor Emerita Marianne Githens had passed away. She was 83 years old.
Professor Githens was born in New York City and raised in Long Island. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Marymount Manhattan College before travelling to England to study further. In 1960, she obtained her doctorate from the London School of Economics. While there, she studied European political organizations and French political beliefs.
Professor Githens taught full time at Goucher from 1965 until her retirement in 2014, where she then continued to teach courses part time until 2016. During her tenure, Professor Githen’s advocated for inclusion, diversity, and equity. She supported women’s rights and rights for urban neighborhoods in Baltimore. She is recognized by many as a pioneer scholar in the field of women in politics and was the co-founder of the Women’s Studies Program at Goucher. She also served as the chair of the political science program.
In 1993, Professor Githens was appointed by the European Commission’s Commission of European Communities for Program Development to write a report on women in Europe.
In 2000, Professor Githens was named as Goucher College’s Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor. She won a myriad of awards from Goucher, including the Outstanding Teaching Award, Caroline Doebler Bruckerl Faculty Award, and a Human Rights Scholar Award. She also received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Marymount Manhattan College. After her retirement, she was honored with the title of Professor Emerita for her contributions to academia. Professor Githens helped shape the community that Goucher is today and dedicated her life to ensuring that those without a voice could be heard.

Featured Image: Marianne Githens. Credit: Baltimore Sun

Charm City Stories Releases First Publication

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Baltimore’s New Student Art and Literary Magazine of Mental and Physical Health Debuts

You know an event is a success when there are more people than chairs. On Friday, April 6th, Charm City Stories, Baltimore’s first student literary and art magazine of mental and physical health, released its first publication with a poetry reading and gallery showing.

The slim and bold art magazine features the work of at least five Goucher students, including Natasha Hubatsek, ‘21, Michelle Cheifetz, ‘20, Ruth Diaz-Rivera, ‘20, Donche Golder, ‘19, and Sarojini Schutt, ‘18.

The magazine was founded by Johns Hopkins student Arunima Vijay. Through her experience living in Baltimore, Vijay had begun to notice many experiences with illness in the community around her, as well as the abundance of art. She desired to find a way to combine medicine with art, a desire which eventually led to the creation of this publication. Charm City stories is inspired by the field of Narrative Medicine, which is rooted in the idea that effective and humane healthcare relies on the ability to interpret and be moved by the stories of others.

Starting out, Vijay was nervous about how others would respond to her idea. “I didn’t know if I was the only one who thought there was a need for a publication doing this kind of work,” she said.

As it turned, however, Vijay was not alone in wanting a student publication focused on health. She was able to form a team of editors with three other students from Johns Hopkins: Anuradha Haridhas, Julia See, and their magazine and website designer, Coleman Haley. The team publicized through social media, student writing/art groups, and outreach to the heads of the art and writing departments at Johns Hopkins, Goucher, Loyola, UMBC, University of Maryland College Park, and Morgan University. Through these various outlets, they received student poetry, art, creative nonfiction and fiction, all of which was related to physical and mental health. “The most fulfilling part was the overwhelmingly positive response we got from the community,” said Vijay.

In addition to the support of the community, a student publication also requires financial backing. Charm City Stories was fortunate to receive funding by the Mellon Arts Innovation grant from Johns Hopkins University.
Between applying for the grant for funding, contacting writers and artists, designing the magazine, creating the website, and planning the exhibition, Vijay estimates that, altogether, putting together the magazine took several hundred hours. “It’s a year’s worth of hours and effort,” she said.

The publication opens with a poem from Goucher student Natasha Hubatsek entitled “maybe that’s another morning.” Hubatsek’s free verse poem wanders from crisp detail to sensory snapshot, tracing the thoughts of someone asking and answering the question of why they keep on getting up in the morning.
Further into the publication, Michelle Cheifetz’s contemplative poems, “Don’t cry,” “What isn’t,” and “science: Rome,” slide between italics and regular font, images and ideas, beauty and destruction. Cheifetz and Hubatsek both read from their work at the gallery showing and magazine opening.

About halfway through the magazine, Donche Golder’s poem, “This is what you need to hear, and why” speaks directly to the perpetrators of sexual assault. At the end of the poem, the poem’s speaker then addresses a particular yet general “you,” saying, “I could have inserted a name, but this poem isn’t for one person./ This poem is directed at “you,” whoever “you” may be,/ wherever “you” are, for whatever “you” have done wrong./ This is what you need to hear, and this is why.”

Many of the Goucher students involved submitted to the publication because they were in a writing class with Professor Katherine Cottle, and wanted to see how their work would be received outside of the classroom and the Goucher community. It appears that the response was largely a positive one, as the publication features the work of so many Goucher students.

The current team of Charm City Stories editors, consisting entirely of JHU students, hopes, in future years, to have more students from other schools involved in editing the publication. They would also like to have a broader audience, more submissions, a larger event venue…and more chairs.
To read the publication online, visit charmcitystories.com.

If you’re interested in applying for an editor position for next year, click here to fill out an application form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeV8pkhuw70NKOcwf_rL-jcQe-CIFfAuf3sSIrOTzwAHm_TZA/viewform

Featured Image: Charm City Stories Logo. Photo Credit: Charm City Stories Facebook Page

Environmental Clubs Create Coalition

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On Tuesday March 27th, a group of student leaders met to discuss the future of environmental action on Goucher’s campus. The group, currently named the Goucher Green Coalition (GGC), hopes to enact greater positive change through increased connectivity and communication among environmental clubs on campus. Because some of the clubs involved rely heavily on volunteers, such as Food Recovery Network, one goal of GGC will be to create a network through which clubs can ask for volunteers. The coalition also hopes to organize its own events, such as an Earth Day Campus Clean up on April 18th, and a Call-A-Thon for students to contact their representatives.

Rachel Grosso, ’18, was inspired to organize the coalition after attending the first annual Baltimore Student Environmental Conference, which brought together student leaders of environmental organizations from colleges and universities in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins and Loyola University both have an umbrella group that coordinates collaboration among environmental clubs, and this organizational structure inspired Grosso to start something similar at Goucher. Grosso noted that since Goucher Energy Action Revolution club, or GEAR, dissolved 3 or 4 years ago, Goucher has not had a “strong environmental presence,” which is something she hopes to change. As this is her final semester at Goucher, however, the continuance of GGC will rely on other students.

To form the group, Grosso made a list of people she had spoken with at the conference and looked for related clubs on the club page on Goucher’s website. As she began talking about her plan, more students became interested who were not already involved in a particular environmental group.

In this first meeting, which only lasted a half hour, the GGC discussed their purpose, vision, and concrete goals. Most of the meeting was spent discussing a petition to hire a new sustainability coordinator, but club leaders also made announcements about what they are working on.

Food Recovery Network (FRN) leader Allie Sklarew, ’17, stated that FRN will be hosting a Move Out for Hunger event at the end of the semester. This event encourages students to donate any leftover non-perishable food they have in their dorm rooms to be delivered to food banks, homeless shelters, and/or other organizations fighting hunger.

In a similar vein, Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, ’17, announced plans organize the “free store” at the end of the semester. A large project, the end-of-the-semester Free Store involves maintaining an on-campus space where students can bring items that they no longer want or need (clothing, books, electronics, etc.). The items brought to the Free Store can then be taken up by other students, or, if they remain in the “store” at the very end of the semester, be delivered to Goodwill. While there is a Free Store throughout the semester located on the top floor of Mary Fisher between Hooper and Dulaney, the Free Store at the end of the semester is much larger.

Because this Free Store project only operates at the end of the semester, unlike FRN, there is no consistent pool of student volunteers to pull from. For this reason, the Free Store exemplifies exactly the kind of project for which an organization like the Goucher Green Coalition can be helpful.

The Goucher Green Coalition had their second meeting on Monday, April 2nd.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Goucher Green Coalition, contact Rachel Grosso at ragro001@mail.goucher.edu. And if you’d like to volunteer to help with the end-of-the-semester Free Store, contact Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, at brrap002@mail.goucher.edu.

Featured Image: The Second Meeting of Goucher Green Coalition. Photo Credit: Rachel Grosso

Goucher Students Published in Charm City Stories

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On Friday, April 6th, Charm City Stories, Baltimore’s first student literary and art magazine of mental and physical health, will release its first publication. The magazine will feature the work of at least four Goucher students: Donché Golder, Natasha Hubatsek, Michelle Cheifetz, and Ruth Diaz-Rivera.

Print copies of the free publication will be released at Johns Hopkins University at a gallery exhibition in the Second Decade Society Room of the Center for Visual Arts from 7-9pm. The publication will also be available online at charmcitystories.com.

Charm City stories is inspired by the field of Narrative Medicine, the idea that effective and humane healthcare relies on the ability to interpret and be moved by the stories of others. The first annual publication builds on the collaboration of writing departments at Johns Hopkins, Goucher, Loyola, UMBC, University of Maryland College Park, and Morgan University. The first annual publication of the free magazine is sponsored by the Mellon Arts Innovation grant from Johns Hopkins University.

One day, Goucher writing professor Katherine Cottle asked her writing students to submit at least one piece for publication before they left class, and this was the assignment that led to the publication in Charm City Stories for Donché Golder. Golder, ’18, submitted a poem, entitled “This is what you need to hear, and why.”

Through his poem, Golder explores themes of healing and accountability. “Without beating around the bush,” he said, “the poem is about sexual assault. The bulk of the poem addresses the agony of those who have been effected by sexual violence/abuse and the last four lines drive the point home: ‘I could have inserted a name, but this poem isn’t for one person./ This poem is directed at “you,” whoever “you” may be,/ wherever “you” are, for whatever “you” have done wrong./ This is what you need to hear, and this is why.’”

Golder, a 4th year English Major, Professional Writing minor, was inspired to submit for Charm City Stories because, he admitted, he hadn’t been published since seventh grade. “I’ve come a long way since then and I think it shows in my work,” he said.

To find out more, visit charmcitystories.com.

The Poetry Corner

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This semester, the Kratz Center for Creative Writing is sponsoring a series of events entitled “Poetry as Community.” In conjunction with this theme, the Q has asked student poets to write about poets whose work they appreciate, to send in along with their own poems.

Here is Goucher poet Donché Golder, ’18, on poets who he considers to be great:

Lady Ise 877-?940

Lady Ise is a Japanese poet who wrote her work and the ‘Waka’  form. The term ‘Waka’ refers to poetry written in a 5-7-5-7-7 metre, (5-7-5 look familiar?) although it was once an all encompassing word form poetry in Japan. Lady Ise was the premiere female poet in Kokinwakashū, the first anthology of waka commissioned by Emperor Daigo. She is also, alongside Ono no Komachi, one of the premiere female poets in the Japanese early classical canon. Her works on the season are very beautiful and when translated are among some of my favorites.

*Note: Waka when translated into English or other languages may not always retain their metre.

ISE SHŪ 37 (*Ise Shū is the poetic memoirs of Lady Ise)

yo ni sakanu        Never blooming in this world,
mono ni ariseba    Were it such a thing,
sakurabana        A cherry blossom;
Fito ni amaneku    To all and sundry
tugezaramasi wo     It would be better not, to announce it so!

KOKINWAKASHŪ XVIII: 1000 (located in the 18th book of the kokinwahashū, the 1,000th waka chronologically.)

yamagaFa no        A mountain brook
oto ni nomi kiku    Babbling is all I hear
momosiki wo        Over the many-stoned palace
mi wo Faya nagara    Swift as the current would I return to the days
miru yosi mo gana     I saw it-how I wish it could be so!

 

Fujiwara No Teika 1162-1241

Like Lady Ise above, Fujiwara No Teika (Teika), was a renowned Japanese poet who wrote in the waka form. His works were inspired by the occurrences in his life, and show fluctuations due to his status at court and his physical health. Nonetheless he is still an inspiration to me as a poet. His works are recorded in the Senzaishū and the Shinkokinshū.

SENZAISHŪ V: 355

sigure yuku        Touched by drizzling rain,
yomo no kozuwe no    All around, the treetops
iro yori mo        With their colours say
aki Fa yuFube no    Autumn in evening is
kaFaru narikeri     A time of change, indeed.

SHINKOKINSHŪ VIII: 788

tamayura no        Fleeting, indeed, are
tsuyu mo namida mo    Dew and tear drops, both
todomarazu        Unceasing;
nakibito koru        She loved
yado no aki kaze     This house, where Autumn winds blow now.

 

Lucille Clifton 1936-2010

Lucille Clifton was an African American Poet born in New York City.  Since it isn’t my job to give you a full chronicle of her life, I’ll keep it brief. Clifton’s work focused on the African American experience, both as an African American woman and as a member of an African American family.  She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her works Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980, and Next: New Poems, which were both published in 1987. Clifton was also Poet Laureate of Baltimore City (My hometown). All in all, Clifton’s work speaks to me as an African American and makes me aspire to write as well as she did.

homage to my hips

these hips are big hips

they need space to

move around in.

they don’t fit into little

petty places. these hips

are free hips.

they don’t like to be held back.

these hips have never been enslaved,

they go where they want to go

they do what they want to do.

these hips are mighty hips.

these hips are magic hips.

i have known them

to put a spell on a man and

spin him like a top!

 

my dream about being white

hey music and

me

only white,

hair a flutter of

fall leaves

circling my perfect

line of a nose,

no lips,

no behind, hey

white me

and i’m wearing

white history

but there’s no future

in those clothes

so i take them off and

wake up

dancing.

 

Other poets Donché recommends:

Featured Image:  Lucille Clifton. Credit: The Poetry Foundation

Club Chat: Anime Club

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Some clubs are about working up a sweat, and some are about creating new things. This week, let’s look at an organization that’s all about relaxing and hanging out with people who share the same kind of interests: Goucher’s own Anime and Animation Club. I talked to Katelyn Pringle (‘18) president and founder.

What is your club’s general purpose?

We want to bring together anime and animation enthusiasts on campus, so we can discuss current trends, recommend stuff to each other, and sometimes go out and attend conventions to try and support the industry.

How do you work structurally?

At the beginning of every year, everyone gets to make three suggestions, and we put them into a drawing pile. So it’s completely random. Every meeting we watch two anime – not counting the one we follow throughout the semester- and one cartoon. Last week we watched the very first episode of Tom and Jerry.

We meet on Sundays at noon. It’s usually an after brunch deal. We meet in Ath 322.

What gave you the idea too start the club?

When I was in high school, I was president of the anime club. I thought there was going to be one here- and there was- but it was disbanded. I decided I could be the president – I did it before.

What are your plans this coming semester?

We are watching a show throughout the semester: Mononoke, which is a horror anthology. It’s really cool! It’s got some great, trippy animation. We are also going to go to Universal FanCon, which is a Baltimore convention in April. I was hoping to have one last movie screening, but I’m not sure if that will happen. We had one last semester, it was for the cartoon network mini series Over the Garden Wall.

Why should people join?

There’s a lot of different organizations on campus: about doing good things and making the world a better place, and that’s great and fantastic, but sometimes you just want to watch some cartoons. And sometimes you just want to meet other people who watch them too. Have you ever met an anime fan? They’re insane: we need each other.

And that’s that for this installment of club chat! Interested in having your organization featured in the next issue of the Q? Email me at firut001@mail.goucher.edu for your chance to be in the next edition!

Feature Image Credit: Google Images

Spring Break

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It’s nearing that time of the semester where students are getting ready for Spring Break 2018. Will they be going home? Are they going on a family trip somewhere close? Or do will they have the typical movie-like spring break and party it up on the coast of Florida? As we near our mid-semester break, I thought it would be nice to ask around and see what people will be up to, and maybe this will inspire others to do something similar!

“This year, I will be driving to Virginia with six friends and will be doing many hikes in Shenandoah National Park, as well as staying in an Airbnb.” -Noah Block (’21).

“Two friends and I are driving from Goucher to Nantucket Island to stay with my aunt, uncle, and grandmother. We’re planning on leaving our days open to adventure, like walking on the beach, no matter how cold it is, and exploring the island a little bit.” -Maddy Hawkes (’21).

“For Spring Break, I get to go home! I will be spending time with my family, and most excitingly, will be getting my wisdom teeth out.”- Lily Mikolajczyk (’21)

As you can see, many of us will be staying on the East Coast, especially those who have their homes out here. This spring break may even be the best one of your life so far. Why not make plans to go somewhere fun with friends? Or go on an adventure and visit some place you have never been before? Here are some cool ideas from people traveling outside the east coast for spring break:

“I am going back home to Northern California and a few friends and I are going to go on a road trip south to Santa Barbara. We are going to make various stops along the coast on our way down, and drive Pacific Coast Highway.” Antonia Pettit (’20).

“For spring break this year, I will be travelling to Los Angeles, California, with the Women’s Lacrosse team to play a few games, bond with my new teammates, and have a few fun adventures, one of which will be going to Six Flags.” Maya Bass (’21).

“I’m going to Fort Myers and will be visiting my grandfather and his girlfriend. While there, I plan on visiting many beaches, getting in as many hikes as possible, and exploring the area on my bike. Most importantly, I’m excited to be in the warm weather, and to be able to catch some rays and get a bit more tan for the second half of the semester.” –Amelia Meier (’21).

California seems like a popular place to venture to for break.The  Sunny coast, warmth, and great people, make it an overall good place to be in late March/ early April, especially when the east coast seems to be wanting to stay chilly and full of rain and snow. All in all, everyone tends to have a good spring break, no matter what they’re off to do. So make this one count!

By Juliana Block

News From the CDO: Calling ALL Students

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From the CDO

Time to SPRING FORWARD into planning your summer career experience!

Whether you are seeking an internship, summer job, or you’re a graduating senior looking for a full-time experience, it’s time to get started—opportunities await! And, the CDO is here to help every step of the way. Check-out tips and resources below for a couple of ways you could use Spring Break to your advantage!

5 Internship & Job Search Tips to Maximize Your Spring Break!

1. Articulate Your Interests & Skills  

  • Take time to identify (and write down) what you know so far about the skills and experiences you bring to your next career step.
  • Jot down what you know so far about the types of opportunities that might be of interest—duties, job titles, industries, organizations, locations.
  • If unsure about a career direction, complete the quick Traitify assessment for personality insights and recommended job titles to help get you started (available on the CDO homepage, when on the Goucher network).

2. Update Your Resume & Cover Letter

3. Develop a Plan

  • Develop a system to track where you have searched, who you’ve connected with, your applications, and follow-up/next steps to stay organized.
  • Develop a prospect list of organizations in which you are interested or want to learn more about, and review their websites for opportunities.
  • Check for internship and job openings on Goucher Recruit and through other websites (e.g. LinkedIn, Baltimore Collegetown Network, Google Jobs, Indeed, Idealist), professional associations, and personal contacts.
  • If interested in registering for academic credit for your internship experience, review the Internship Learning Agreement (ILA) on the CDO website. Remember that the Goucher Intern Fellowship funds are available to support summer internships! Find out more at http://www.goucher.edu/career-development-office/for-students/internships/. *If you’re still trying to get credit for a spring internship, note the deadline is March 30, 2018.

4. Network, network, network!

  • Start with who you know! Over break, ask your friends, family, and mentors questions about jobs, careers, experiences, and for suggestions of other contacts with whom they could connect you.
  • Conduct informational interviews to explore career fields and jobs by connecting with professionals in your field(s) of interest.
  • Use the Alumni Career Coaches tab in Goucher Recruit to search and message alumni who have volunteered to help YOU learn more about careers through their experiences and insights.
  • Create (or update) a LinkedIn profile to build your connections (alumni, faculty, staff, friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, teammates). Don’t forget to check-out the Jobs tab to search for opportunities!

5. Prepare for Interviews

  • Practice crafting and telling stories that showcase your skills and experiences.
  • Review commonly asked interview questions and prepare your answers.
  • For specific interviews, research the organization to which you are applying and spend time comparing your skills and qualifications to the job requirements.
  • Review CDO interview prep resources at http://www.goucher.edu/career-development-office/for-students/job-search/.

Don’t forget, the CDO is here to help and we look forward to connecting with you!

We meet with students year round, even over breaks, through scheduled appointments (on the CDO homepage @ www.goucher.edu/cdo) and drop-ins from 2pm-4pm Monday-Friday (just stop by!).

Follow us on social media- Facebook @GoucherCollegeCDO, and Twitter @CDOGoucher to keep up with all that’s happening at the CDO.

Feature Image Credit: Goucher College

Problems Within the #MeToo Movement

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In 2006, Tarana Burke founded the Me Too movement. The movement aims to create a community and support system for sexual assault survivors. This platform allows for survivors to share their stories in the public eye, accompanied by the hashtag #MeToo, with the purpose of informing the public and empowering survivors. The sharing of these stories allows for the public to be informed of the magnitude of the issue, while recognizing the personal impact it has on individuals, in order to begin an entire societal shift to change the current state of the sexual violence epidemic. In addition to informing the public, the movement allows for survivors to recognize they are not alone, feel more comfortable coming forward with their own stories, feel empowered to break their silence, and ultimately find a starting point to begin the healing process. Tarana’s ideology behind the movement is “empowerment through empathy”.

In October of last year, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” Within 24 hours, there were over 12 million posts and interactions involving #MeToo. To the millions involving themselves with the trending hashtag, Alyssa Milano had seemingly started a movement. What was ignored was Tarana Burke’s movement, under the same name and ideology, that had been founded ten years earlier. Burke was shocked to see Milano’s tweet and the explosion of #MeToo, stating, “Initially I panicked. I felt a sense of dread, because something that was part of my life’s work was going to be co-opted and taken from me and used for a purpose that I hadn’t originally intended” (qtd. in Garcia). The widespread popularity of this movement being initiated by a white, famous woman, without the credit given to the actual founder, a black woman, creates an inherent issue with the hashtag that leaves women of color out of the conversation, while the spotlight is held over famous, white cisgender women.

Another group that remains marginalized by the #MeToo movement are trans and non-binary identifying people. First, the language involved in the movement, with the usage of “women and femme”, centers the conversation around the gender binary. This frames the dialogue as a cis men vs. cis women issue, leaving trans/non-binary people out of the conversation. Trans women are still not viewed as women in many circles of society, and as a result, their stories are often invalidated, pushed to the side and ignored. Last year, on RuPaul’s podcast Whats The Tee?, Rose McGowan, actress, Weinstein accuser and an active member in the #MeToo movement, said, “They [trans women] assume because they felt like a woman on the inside . . . That’s not developing as a woman. That’s not growing as a woman, that’s not living in this world as a woman.” If people with power involved in the movement perpetuate the idea of trans women not being women and invalidating their experiences, this idea will also embed itself in the movement. “Welcome to womanhood” is a phrase trans women are often met with when they come forward with their experiences of sexual violence (Mamone), rather than being met with support, as cis women are. Many trans and GNC people do not feel comfortable participating in this conversation because of the fear of the lack of support they will receive, or even backlash. They also don’t feel comfortable asserting themselves into the conversation because they do not see themselves represented in the conversation. No trans/gender nonconforming people were featured in Time Magazine’s profile of the #MeToo “SilenceBreakers” last year.

The #MeToo movement ignores the fact that trans and gender non-conforming people experience the greatest amount of violence due to gender. According the the National Center for Transgender Equality, “47 percent of trans people say they experienced sexual violence sometime during their lives” (qtd. in Talusan). Not only are trans people at risk of unwanted sexual advances, but they are also at greater risk of physical assault and murder because of their identity. Intersectional journalist, Meredith Talusan, discusses how the MeToo hashtag only aims to help cis women, as the experiences of trans and GNC people are not brought to the forefront, even though they experience the greatest oppression. Talusan states, ”We continue to be footnotes in discussions of gender-based violence, even when we’re the most affected.”

While the #MeToo movement leaves women of color, trans women and non-binary people out of the conversation, the structure and goal of the conversation itself may not even help to make a change within our society. Although the movement absolutely has the potential to bring a sense of solidarity to victims, an issue lies with the movement’s goal of raising awareness of the problem. Wagatwe Sara Wanjuki describes this issue:

“”Me, too” is framed as an attempt to convince people that sexual violence is a problem. It implies that sexual violence is pervasive simply because (mostly) men don’t understand that it’s so prevalent, which I don’t believe. It reinforces the idea
that if there are enough numbers on your side, then we should believe and listen. One victim should be enough for us to care. One survivor is already too many. Listening and believing survivors is great, but it should be the first step of many in doing our part to end sexual violence. We need everyone to participate in raising awareness and taking concrete actions against rape culture, rather than leaving it to survivors to do the heavy lifting.”

The #MeToo movement places the work on the survivors; relying on them to come forward with their stories in order to initiate change in society. The problem lies within the abusers, and we must target them directly to initiate change. We must also work to put the most marginalized groups, women of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, at the forefront of the

conversation. Problems will exist within any movement, and it is important to examine and address the issues head-on in order to create a more inclusive, intersectional, and successful movement.

Feature Image Credit: Google Images

Poetry as Community

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It is not so frequent an event that speakers are introduced as having created oceans. Oceans with “clear and clean water,” into which one can be submersed, “with no part left dry.”
On Thursday, February 15th, poets Airea D. Matthews and Ladan Osman visited Goucher for an evening of dinner, conversation, and, most importantly, poetry. They were the first in a series of poets whose visits will be sponsored by the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College.

Airea D Matthews and Ladan Osman.
Photo Credit: Goucher College Events Calendar

Typically, the Kratz Center sponsors one visiting writer event in the fall semester. For example, last semester Elizabeth Strout made a visit, and in previous years, other big names like Sherman Alexie, Seamus Heaney, and W.S. Merwin have come to Goucher. Then, in the spring semester, the Kratz Center sponsors a visiting writer to teach a course. This semester H.G. Carrillo is leading a fiction writing workshop. Goucher alumni Edgar Kunz is also visiting and teaching creative writing. In addition to these annually-run programs, however, the Kratz Center is also sponsoring something new this year—an “experiment,” in the words of Bill U’Ren, current Kratz Director and Goucher creative writing professor.
The Poetry Series is the experiment. Although U’Ren is the acting Kratz Director, the go-ahead for this experiment was given by last year’s co-directors Madison Smartt Bell and Elizabeth Spires. Meant to work in conjunction with this semester’s theme of “community,” the series involves creating several smaller events with visiting writers, rather than try to acquire big-ticket names. The series is also an attempt to organize a variety of readings which may not be the most traditional. For example, Matthews and Osman both employed mixed media presentations, using images along with their work. Future visiting poets include The Black Ladies Brunch Collective, a group of poets who work collaboratively.
Goucher poetry and peace studies professor Ailish Hopper was the curator of the series (and the author of the lovely introduction at the Thursday night event). As the curator, Hopper reached out to poets in the broader Baltimore community and asked for their help in creating the events. To create a pair for a joint reading, she would first contact one poet, and then ask whom that poet would like to read with, be it “a friend, or mentor or poetry-crush,” as Hopper put it. The poets were then asked what the phrase “poetry as community” meant to them. The focus, or subtitles, for each event, came from their answers to this question. Aptly, Hopper used a metaphor to describe her involvement as curator in this process: “I was like a sail on a sailboat, and all these winds came along to push the sail,” said Hopper, miming the movement of blowing winds to represent the various people who made the series possible.
At the event on Thursday, throughout the evening Matthews and Osman showed their friendship and respect for each other, each sharing stories about the other. At the end of the night, Hopper thanked both for their time, their poetry, and, ultimately, for their togetherness. Matthews and Osman laughed and looked at each other. “We really love each other,” said Matthews.
The Poetry Series has already been building connections between members of the poetry community. Of the 40-50 people at Thursday night event, there were a number of local poets, who teach in colleges, high schools, and after school programs. One outcome of this community-building is co-publicity and the creation of a master list of all the poetry events happening this spring. If you’re interested in attending poetry events on or off campus, click here for events and bios of the poets.
The final visiting poet of the semester, Rudy Francisco, who specializes in spoken word poetry, will lead a master class at Goucher in the morning but will perform in the evening at the DewMore Baltimore Poetry Festival. Hopper hopes that Goucher students connect with Francisco and make an effort to travel into the city for the festival.
Upcoming events at Goucher feature Poets Jenny Johnson and francine harris on March 29th, 7-9 in Batza Room and The Black Ladies Brunch Collective on Thursday, April 12th, 7-9, also in Batza.

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