#SpotlightThursday – 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy

Editors: Casey Lawrence and William D. Dickerson
Benefits: RAINN and the ACLU

About the Book

Presenting the diverse voices of those most affected by the results of the 2016 American presidential election, 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy is a charitable project meant to prioritize and highlight marginalized writers for a good cause. One hundred percent of profits from the sale of this book will be donated to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and the ACLU, the nonprofit organization defending the constitutional rights of Americans.

11/9: The Fall of American Democracy contains the work of a number of award-winning poets and authors including Roger Aplon, Laura Foley, Alan w. Jankowski, Mike Jurkovic, Sergio A. Ortiz, Mindela Ruby, Claire Scott, and Jan Steckel, in addition to a number of unpublished poets and fresh young voices. From a precocious four-year-old writer to octogenarians, amateur poets to Pushcart nominees, American expats to teens who have never left their hometown, this volume collects poetry and short prose reflecting on 11/9/16, a dark day in American history.

About the Project

Words are resistance. 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy puts that belief into action by gathering the work of award-winning poets and first-time writers alike into a poignant reminder that our #ownvoices matter. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will be receiving a 50/50 split of the book’s profits to help support survivors of sexual violence and defend the constitutional rights of Americans.

This project emerged as a response to the results of the US Presidential Election on 11/9/16, in which a man who was caught bragging about sexually assaulting women and was accused of doing so by multiple people, somehow became the President Elect. Our initial plan was to donate 100% of the profits of this anthology to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, in support of victims of sexual violence. The dedication to the book reads:

For everyone who has been harassed, groped, or otherwise victimized by someone in a position of power— this book is in your honor.

We stand by our commitment to demonstrate that the words “grab them by the pussy” should never come from the mouth of an elected official, let alone the supposed Leader of the Free World. Political and social power should never come with a blank cheque to do what one pleases without consequences; the message that the election sent to survivors was that our voices don’t matter, and with this book, we have decided to say otherwise.

Since his inauguration on January 20, 2017, the 45th President of the United States has routinely attempted to undermine the Constitution and violate the rights it gives all Americans. This book has become an even more important symbol of resistance in the months since 45 took office. The decision to add the ALCU as a beneficiary of the sales of this book was a thus no-brainer; we value the work the ACLU is doing as a force of resistance and would like to show our support of those being further marginalized by the President’s racist, sexist, and unconstitutional policies.

The brave souls who contributed poems, short prose, and other writings to this book are heroes. Many chose to share their real names and locations, standing up for what they believe in with their faces unobscured. Others chose to write under a pseudonym for their safety and security; rather than belittle that decision, let us reflect on why it was necessary.

“I want to help in any way I can, but I’m afraid of the backlash,” said one of our contributors who chose to remain anonymous, despite sharing her heart-wrenching poem, “Dicks Out for the Donald.” She worries that she and her loved ones could come under fire if she were to reveal her real name or location. In this tumultuous political and social climate, our words are all the more necessary to protect people like Anonymous, and every dollar we send to RAINN and the ALCU is indicative of us putting our money where our mouths are.

About the Editors

Casey Lawrence is a Canadian writer and student at Brock University. She has published two Young Adult novels with a bisexual, biracial female protagonist, Out of Order and Order in the Court (Harmony Ink Press). She has been previously published in Bi Women Quarterly, LGBTQ Reads, Inkspots (Small Button Press 2016), and a number of local publications. The vice-president of the Gay-Straight Alliance and editor of the yearbook in high school, she now volunteers with the Brock English Students’ Association, Brock Faith & Life, Brock Pride, and the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society. She lives at home with her mother, grandmother, and her adorable seven-pound Yorkie, Bindi.

William D. Dickerson is an American writer and teacher. He studied English and Elementary Education at Alfred University. He has self-published two novels, Cherry Wood and Young Mutants in Love. He is currently leading the Genesee Valley Gender Variants group in Rochester, NY. He also identifies as genderfluid. (All pronouns are welcome.)

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