As yet another anniversary of September 11th passes, and as we continue to face heartbreak and trauma as a nation from unfathomable acts of violence, we invite you to read this recent article, Never Forget, published on Entropy, by Goddard alumna Emily Stern.
Emily says, “At the close of a creative writing course at an Indigenous art institute, on the Friday before 9/11, I, once again, remembered the poem that I mention in this essay.
“We’d just spent an hour discussing the subtleties and travesties of the colonization of language, which was inspired by our close read of Bhanu Kapil’s piece, “How to Write a Sentence.”
“I’ve wanted to tell this story many times. It speaks to my addiction and gratitude for the classroom, and my infinite fascination with how the layers and intersections of trauma, and the human need to feel connected to one another, are always conspiring to transcend.”
Here’s a sneak peak at the essay. For more, please go to Entropy.
“My most devastating memory about September 11th—the one that left me in a heap of tears, feeling hopeless and petrified, had nothing to do with the falling of the twin towers or the thousands of deaths—though I certainly cried about them, as well. The memory that obliterated my comprehension and made me fear for the future, on my knees—yes, the moment that brought me to prayer, was when President Bush chose to retaliate and declare the war on terrorism.
“In front of a television, my brain drenched in whiskey, and my body, in preventative scabies cream, I watched the extraordinary opportunity to acknowledge America’s own violent blueprints, ongoing brutally, and present-day global and domestic terrorism, vanish, just like the true histories of its people.
“Bush consciously decided against telling a truth that could have shifted the agonizing and vicious effects of historical trauma.
“Bush passed the buck, and then planted fear in the hearts of the already terrified. And how did he ensure this collective distress? With the haunting and ironic anthem, “Never Forget.”
Emily Stern currently resides in Santa Fe, NM. She’s the author of When Doves Cry, a memoir about her childhood and her mother’s death in 1993 from complications of HIV/AIDS. Writing, performing, and teaching for over twenty years, her credits include: The Portland Review, the bizarro anthology Fireside Popcicles, Entropy Magazine, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Connotation Press, and Literary Orphans. She toured with The Sex Worker’s Art Show National Tour, played “The Commander” and co-created the full-length rock opera The Transfused with Nomy Lamm, The Need and Freddie Fagula, as well as performed at Ladyfest, Homo-A-Gogo, and “The Opening of the Mouth” with Ariana Reines and Jackie Wang. She’s taught all over the country, including Portland’s The Rock and Roll Camp for Girls and Tucson’s Casa Libre. She has an MFA from Goddard College in Creative Nonfiction with a critical emphasis on women and AIDS in literature, and is the Coordinator for Diversity and Integration at Santa Fe Community College, and is liberal arts and creative writing faculty at Santa Fe Community College, The Institute of American Indian Arts, and Santa Fe University of Art and Design. You can find more of her writing at www.emilystern.com.