Ever thought about the consequences of PTSD? Do you know someone diagnosed with PTSD? Is that person a feminist? Then we’ve found the book for you.
Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist is a book that every feminist diagnosed with PTSD should read, but of course, it isn’t only limited to that.
A book that celebrates literature and art, we recommend PTS Feminist to be the new addition to your reading list.
We posed our questions to the woman behind the book and learned the story behind it.
1. The book PTS Feminist is a collection of stories, poems and visual arts by almost 30 feminists. How did you select the works displayed in the book?
There are 32 feminist artists and activists who have work in this collection. When selecting the pieces that would be part of this collection, I tried to be mindful of selecting a wide-variety of works by contributors from multiple social locations and identities.
I wanted to complicate the perception of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, so I selected pieces of varying lengths, styles, color schemes, and skill levels created by people from varying gender identities, sexualities, races, and religions.
2. How was the idea of PTS Feminist conceived? Are there personal reasons behind it?
The idea for Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist first came about in college, but I didn’t have the time or energy to start such a huge endeavor until I finished college and graduate school.
After being sexually assaulted as a Sophomore, I was isolated and alone after speaking out about it. I found comfort and strength in feminist lit – it spoke to my experiences and gave me the vocabulary I was lacking to describe the injustices I had faced.
Still, I searched desperately for a book that spoke directly to me, a book that made me feel less alone. So as soon as I wrapped up my Master’s degree in Women’s Studies, I put out a Call for Submissions to create that book myself.
3. Tell us about the book cover, what inspired the art behind it?
My friend and fellow art activist Callie Garp of Fabulously Feminist has this really incredible illustration that reads, “Grow Through What You Go Through,” over a bouquet of gorgeous wildflowers, and I fell in love with it.
The wild and colorful way she drew the flowers instantly drew me in and made me dream of that as the book cover. So I reached out to her to ask if she would be interested in creating something for the cover, and the rest is history!
4. What do you hope to share with your audience through the book?
First and foremost, I hope to remind people with PTSD that they are not alone. I also hope to complicate the perception of PTSD, and I hope to remind those who do not suffer from trauma of a few different things:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder does not look one specific way. We are not all the soldiers you see on TV.
- Many of us have experienced trauma at the hands of our loved ones.
- We all experience varying degrees of symptoms.
- We are doing our best.
5. What is your favourite poem, story or artwork from the book?
It’s pretty impossible to pick a single favorite because I’ve spent over two years reading, editing, and organizing these pieces into the collection we have today. I have so many favorites.
I would have to pick a couple, including:
- Dear Survivor by Heather Stout,
- Who Gets to Do This Work by Delia Harrington,
- A Reminder by Kit Hunt,
- and the collaborative visual art piece created with the help of dozens of Facebook friends that’s found at the very end of the book entitled, “#MeToo.”
6. If you can get one person to read PTS Feminist, who would it be?
Tarana Burke, the #MeToo movement founder and organizer. I am so grateful for the work she has done over the past several decades; she paved the way for books Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist.
7. How have people reacted to the book?
I’ve got nothing but positive feedback about the book so far. I’m sure there are negative opinions out there, but everyone who has reached out to me or posted a review has been incredibly supportive and appreciative of this collection.
8. What are PTS Feminist’s potentials? How big is the influence?
That’s a great question! I’m not sure, honestly. I’m open and excited about the possibilities. I would love to present Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist at bookstores, universities, conferences, and for any other groups interested in learning about this work.
If you’re interested in having me come speak or lead a workshop for your group, you can email me at PTSFeminist@gmail.com.
9. What are your upcoming projects?
I’m trying incredibly hard to not to launch into any new projects at the moment and to just savor the moment and the joy of having this collection completed.
I haven’t stopped creating projects or events in the past ten years, so it’s time for a break to rest – even if I will still be speaking and spreading the word about PTSF. (And planning fundraising events for a major non-profit by day.)
I do have a couple of ideas in the works, though, so stay tuned – I might have launched my new project by the end of this year.
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