A short reflection by Shira Devorah, Women’s Center student staff.
I bought my own copy of Dirty River (even though the Women’s Center has a copy you can loan now thanks to the UMBC’s LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Association recent donation), and I’m really glad that I did. I got to underline the poetry and the words that really resonated with me. I carefully applied sticky notes to the parts I loved, the difficult areas I wanted to come back to, the short mix of music I have to check out.
Dirty River, A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home, by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, is a memoir, but it is also so much more. It is a story of escape, of survival, of scraping by and fighting to exist. This book is more poetry than prose. It is incredibly difficult, dealing with (trigger warning!) incest, abuse and intimate partner violence. It is also difficult because there is so so much. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha feels everything so much. She discovers herself and pulls you in through all the twists and turns. Continue reading