(Un)spoken takes the reader on a journey through negative affects, sexuality, and responses to violence and trauma. Constructed as dialogues that engage directly with the reader, the poems explore the impact of repressed grief and highlight how trauma lodges in the body as eating disorders and self-inflicted wounds. Anchored in Jewish cultural identity and written in a resolute feminist voice, this collection offers a contribution to current feminist and queer conversations about sexual and psychological violence, how we survive in chilly domestic atmospheres, and what it means to obey and resist our training as 'nice girls' within heterosexist systems.
About the author
Marjorie Silverman is an emerging writer from Ottawa-Gatineau, and her poems have been featured in The Maynard, Bywords, and Montréal Writes. Marjorie's writing attempts to place into dialogue her various identities, including her Jewish cultural heritage and her lifelong struggle with mental health issues. A former psychotherapist, Marjorie is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Ottawa. (Un)spoken is her first poetry collection.
"In this book, Marjorie Silverman puts grief under the microscope to examine how it excoriates and how it prepares us for the hope of 'revitalizing this toxic garden.' Driven by a search for mourning that is both good and just, (Un)spoken proclaims the holiness of survival as revolution, the self that speaks and speaks again."~ Tanis MacDonald, winner of the Bliss Carman Poetry Prize
"Marjorie Silverman's (Un)spoken will capture avid poetry fans and total rookies alike with its powerful, resonant, defiant, and clear responses to the bodily coercions of our culture. Silverman has--with great generosity--guided the reader through the well-tended pain, scars, and salves of gender norms, sexual violence, and emotionally-loaded eating, all via a specifically Jewish voice. Her excellent use of alliteration, repetition, dialogue, strikethroughs, and experimental form do not for a second muddy the immediacy and resolve of these succinct poems; these poems are small, sharp, polished gems. Any reader who is interested in honest and tough conversations about mental health and oppression will be very glad that these words were, in fact, spoken!"~ Lucas Crawford, author of Sideshow Concessions, The High Line Scavenger Hunt, Belated Bris of the Brainsick, and Muster Points
"Marjorie Silverman's (Un)spoken is an unflinching account of survival, immediate and inter-generational. Equally elegant and feisty, lucid and dream-like, her poems hold the weight, the wait, the want, and the haunt. There is deep attention at work here and it is passionate and affirming. Silverman gives us a collection of intimacy, of rituals, fused with affirming sustenance. This is a powerful book of the mouth--lippy, fierce, and full."~ Sandra Ridley, award-winning poet, instructor and editor