What She Was Wearing
by Shawn Aveningo Sanders
Tentative Release Date: November 12, 2019
In What She Was Wearing, Shawn Aveningo Sanders uses poetry to tell her #MeToo story—one that has been over 30 years in the making. Inspired, by the courage of so many women who have bravely opened up, Aveningo Sanders decided it was time to join the conversation and share her story. It is her hope this work can help women of all ages face and cope with their own experiences, while letting them know they can indeed heal and go on to enjoy loving, trusting relationships.
“Shawn Aveningo Sanders’s story of living with the aftermath of violence emerges like a geode that’s been cracked open after years underground. Each image has been remembered and re-remembered, stored, pressurized, and slowly shaped into a single facet of the experience. From the earrings she was wearing to explaining the assault to her college-age children years later, Aveningo Sanders spares no detail and lets no one off the hook. Starkly honest and memorably graceful, these poems are a virtuoso performance of feminism and survival, as well as a wholly human story that far too many women will understand.”
—Amy Miller, author of The Trouble with New England Girls
“Dedicated ‘to those who have suffered in silence,’ this book is a testimony to Shawn Aveningo Sanders’ courage. For thirty years, she kept a secret that verged on unraveling her, a secret so devastating she once attempted suicide. But here she transcends the traps of shame and self-reproach to confront—in a sequence of poems and epistolary prose—the four men who, as college fraternity brothers, raped her. Forced into silence for too long, women all over this world are now speaking out, saying #MeToo. What She Was Wearing is Sanders’ brave voice joining this transforming chorus.”
—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita
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