Erasures of My Coming Out (Letter)
by Mary Warren Foulk
First Place Winner of The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize, 2021
Scheduled Release Date: Feb 1, 2021
In this hybrid erasure collection, Mary Warren Foulk is attempting a redaction, flipping the meaning of her “coming out” letter (and the act itself) on its head. What if she never had to “come out?” Never had to write such a letter? What if the process was rendered unnecessary—erased? What might she’d have done with that energy if it hadn’t been wasted on hiding, on passing, on fear, on denial? A few of the questions asked/answered in this powerful poetry.
To uncover the human heart that quietly waits inside every life and every poem is no small feat and yet is what Erasures of My Coming Out (Letter) does with deftness and hope. Shaped by both the weight of secrecy and the release of recovery, the poems draw our eyes and minds into the page and the careful search taking place in, around, and beneath each word. “Erasure poetry” may sound like it is the rubbing out of meaning, but the poems within this beautiful volume show that it has the very opposite effect, allowing love and truth to surface and catch the light that is their birthright.
—Annie Lighthart, Contest Judge, 2021 and author of PAX and Iron String
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