There Is Strength in Our Stories: checklist – Arianne True

checklist


Arianne True is a queer indigenous poet, folk artist, and teacher from Seattle, and a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Arianne has taught with Writers in the Schools and the Richard Hugo House, is a Hedgebrook alum, and has been published by the Boston Review and LitHub.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Red – Nikki Marrone

Sometimes I leave the blood on my skin,
To remember that red is not the colour of violence.
And that I am not a victim waiting to happen.
This space between my legs is not a crime scene.
Red is not a blood stained sidewalk,
It is not the cut of a prostitute’s gown,
Sometimes I leave the blood on my skin;
For the ones who have no choice,
To remember those who wear it like war paint,
And to support those who it wear it with shame.
This is no tear stained apology.
Nor a problem to be solved.
This is a not something to be taken lightly,
Nor a burden heavily carried.
Sometimes I leave the blood on my skin;
To remind myself that being a woman,
Isn’t something easily washed away.
To remind myself that being a woman,
Isn’t unclean.


Nikki Marrone is a poet, photographer, artist and traveller. When she’s not wandering around the world documenting her adventures, she splits her time between performing, running events and workshop leading. She is the winner of multiple Poetry Slams and has featured at various spoken word nights and festivals around the world.  Her work has taken her to some amazing places and she has been involved in some great projects.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: I have been broken many times before – Tianna G. Hansen

I am not fragile, but I have been
broken many times before. I have
shattered in a million pieces
un-fix-able,
yet still risen from
the debris, rubble pile of
disgrace and shame, silenced
to keep the truth from bubbling
out of my lips like acid, spat in faces
of my attackers, those who have instilled
this shame, my rapist who never saw the
truth, neglected tears streaming
down my face. neglected my
body, my soul, my self;
made me feel I am
nothing.
no-thing.


Tianna G. Hansen has been writing her whole life. She founded and is Editor-in-Chief of Rhythm & Bones Press, a small press focused on the idea of healing through writing. She believes there is always something beautiful to be found in the darkest moments. Her work has been published widely in many forms; find it at CreativeTianna.com, follow her on Facebook @tiannaghansen / Twitter @tiannag92 / Instagram @tgghansen24. “Undone, Still Whole” is her debut collection.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: ‘on the record’ series – Arianne True

otr part iotr part iiotr part iiiotr part ivotr part v


Arianne True is a queer indigenous poet, folk artist, and teacher from Seattle, and a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Arianne has taught with Writers in the Schools and the Richard Hugo House, is a Hedgebrook alum, and has been published by the Boston Review and LitHub.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Concealed – aj forrester

Dry grass taller than me, color of my naked skin,
waves in the wind,
slices like razors on my limbs
scarred from climbing the camphor trees

trembling, lying helpless
on a bed of dirt and mud,
briars peppering my ankles
sting, leaving tiny drops of blood
like no see ums

grass like bars of a cell
pinned down like a fish being scaled

I recall the Hotwheels
I had the Ford
you had the Porsche
little metal shapes flipping and crashing

Grass, still, drowns out my little voice.


Amanda J. Forrester received her MFA from the University of Tampa. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Azahares Spanish Language Literary Magazine, Pink Panther Magazine, Collective Unrest, Trailer Park Quarterly, and other anthologies and journals. Follow her @ajforrester75

There Is Strength in Our Stories: You Stole Nothing – Taylor Warner

There’s a few things I’d like to know
As I seem to have missed something
Since when does opening your apartment door
Mean opening your legs?
Since when does comforting someone
Mean they can make themselves comfortable
Inside of you?
As if my body has a doormat that reads:
Permission to Enter
I want to know when my voice became nothing but noise
You can just muffle out with your own moans
When did I lose the property rights
To my own body?
You know, I’ve told myself so many lies
And I’ve drank myself blind
To the point that I questioned if this happened at all
Because my heart was trying to make excuses for you
Convincing me it was my fault, to shake it off and move on
But nothing is more real than remembering how it feels
To be treated like you are a mere body
Like your heartbeat doesn’t exist at all
And I know you think you stole something from me that dark evening
But let me tell you with one million percent certainty
You turned woman into warrior
You made me smarter and love harder
You may have broken my spirit
You may have ripped more than my clothes
But you lost this war
Because my soul is still whole.

You….
You stole nothing at all.


Taylor was born a Texan but now roams the world writing her truths and finding peace in the small things. Taylor began writing poetry at the early age of 8 and her words have been the one constant in her life through everything. Taylor writes her truths. The raw, the beautiful, the obscene. She hopes to heal others through her stories as she heals herself. You can find more of her @commasandcuriosity.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Crushed Petals – Kelly Glover

Women are silent flowers
Prettiest when quiet
We do not wilt
When they crush our petals
Strip our leaves

Our divine feminine roots
Remain and regenerate
Exquisite thorns sharpen

We are walking targets
With bullseye breasts
Shot with shame
From the moment of fertility

The blood of life
Natural as breath
Yet taboo table talk

Be a beauty, wear lipstick
Just not that particular shade
Of sunburnt whore

Look nice, paint your nails
But not the same dark red
That will stain his sheets
When he’s had his way with you

Why don’t we report our rapes
Our assaults
Our complaints
Flowers don’t speak
When bees steal their pollen

As the last blooms are spent
A new season buds
We are flooded
Drowning in courage and confidence

Flowers look best in a bouquet
The more we gather
The more beautiful we become
Holding up each other
By our weakest branches

The blooms are getting louder
As the shame falls away
The roses have found their voices
Briars surround all our choices


Kelly Glover is a single mother of three living in her hometown of Greensboro, NC. Her poetry and prose deal with the darker aspects of life that everyone goes through, but few are willing to talk about. Her first book of poetry, “The Light of My Dark” is available on Amazon. Kelly’s work can also be found in various online literary journals and anthologies.