WAS IT R*PE

poems

ELISABETH HORAN

A tribute to all survivors who cope daily with pain and trauma, this poignant collection of fiery poetry is unblinking in the face of what many survivors face, exploring the multifaceted reality of trauma, the aftermath of unspeakable horrors, feeling like a hunted thing, a broken thing, but ultimately overcoming this and basking in the light and strength of carrying on.

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ADVANCE PRAISE

"The poetry in this collection by Elisabeth Horan is brimming with pain and power. This is the voice of a poet who is fighting back -- the voice of a poet who isn't giving up. These poems sting, burn, scratch and tear. And yet they are beautiful. And yet there is hope."

 

~ Cathy Ulrich,

founding editor, Milk Candy Review

"What constitutes rape? What does it take for others to believe survivors of sexual assault, to support them, to give them justice they deserve? Elisabeth Horan looks at us readers dead in the eye and asks sincerely, ‘Is it rape if no one hears / you, is it rape if he didn't kill you.’ Horan already knows the answer, so do we feel it, but when will everyone else? What does it take to be believed? Was it R*pe is a collection of raw and bold poems that asks such hard questions unabashedly with fire, stings, and fury. It's a twisting and turning journey all too familiar, all too painful, from that of a survivor to that of someone who has survived. ‘I don't want to play anymore – / no sunshine day charades.’ Horan writes, encouraging herself, ourselves, our humanity, to feel the anger fully, to accept it as valid, to be real with it. Because yes, it happened, and we're entitled to feel furious and to get the justice we deserve.”

 

~ Nadia Gerassimenko, 

founding editor, Moonchild Mag

"Elisabeth Horan makes no apologies in this collection, starting off with the visceral first poem, CW: “triggered / this warning – means nothing / these knees – worn to bone from kneeling”. From there we weave deeper into sexual assault, the #MeToo movement, and the expectations put on young women. Horan does an excellent job pulling the reader in and allowing them to live in the poem. In       , was his name she expertly uses blank spaces to allow the reader to fill them in as they see fit; it simultaneously creates and fills a hole in the reader. This collection of poems isn’t always easy to read but that is why it’s so very necessary, Horan gives a voice to women everywhere and allows us to feel less alone. In these poems we see ourselves and we see others."

 

~ Courtney LeBlanc,

author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters

(Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)

"Reminiscent of Plath in both execution and intensity, Elisabeth Horan’s newest collection of poetry, Was it R*pe? is not a book for survivors of sexual assault alone. Rather, it is also a book for bystanders, most especially those who call into question the testimony of those brave enough to recount their traumas. For, in answering the question, “Was it r*pe?” Horan poignantly reminds such readers, “I’m done with #metoo / if I've no one left to tell it to – / no careers to ruin 'cept my own / with tales of the gropings / in blood clot dawns.” Horan then illustrates how in the aftermath of sexual assault, such tales that she and far too many others often have to tell involve suicide attempts, self-abusive behaviors, and deep isolation. By sharing such personal experiences, Horan ultimately reframes the question her book's title poses as one we must all consider with a far deeper compassion for those who have suffered sexual assault, and their often harrowing struggles to survive." 

                                                                                                                                                                                               ~ Johnny Longfellow, 

                                                                                                                 editor, Midnight Lane Boutique

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