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Sally Van Doren

Is it okay to sound female, the way Anne Carson describes noises women make in
her essay Glass, Irony and God, turning themselves inside out into shrieking
hysterics, spreading their internal shit on the public? Is that writing?

Is it okay to tell people your horrific story under the pretense that you are sharing it
so that others might benefit from your pain?

Is it okay to nearly die on the page and then go shopping for a Prada suit?

Is it okay to want people to feel sorry for you? Is it maybe…poetry?

I think it is okay to create a fictional story about a woman falling to pieces, but I don’t
want to hear first person despair in memoir. It’s so subjective. It’s so self-serving.

I think it’s okay to assume that the I in a lyric poem is real.

I think it’s hard to get clean after taking a bath in someone else’s shit. I wish I had
never read that. Now I’m so dirty!

Sally Van Doren

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Author Discusses Poems