Pads off to New York’s Marymount Manhattan College for holding the first ever period poetry slam, “Red Moon Howl.” The menstrual-themed event welcoming “poets, performers & menstrual enthusiasts” and featuring the work of Sylvia Plath, will take place on June 7th as part of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference, honoring Gloria Steinem for her work in “taking down social taboos toward menstruation, including the belief that women are weak, dirty or inferior to men because of their cycles.”
Karina Billini, a graduate of Marymount and the organizer of the “Red Moon Howl,” got the idea after taking Professor David Linton Linton’s class on the social constructs of menstruation:
“We had to do a final project. I said, ‘I really want to do a collection of menstruation-themed poetry, kind of like a detailed anthology,’ … I put together this collection and David was really impressed … Menstruation is seen as a handicap for women. I hope the slam opens the minds of women and men. I want people to see that poetry is not something that’s flowery and that it can make an impact on our societal norms. It can cause change and it’s not just about putting beautiful words and imagery together.”
Professor Linton, who first became interested in periods in an “erotic context” when Prince Charles said he wanted to be Camilla’s tampon in that infamous phone recording, hopes that the event will promote acceptance.
“It’s not that every woman should run around waving a tampon in the air or should be having a ‘period party every month.’ But the idea is about acceptance of one’s body and a social acceptance,” he said. Linton will be presenting two period-themed poems himself at the Howl, one about “a man who’s charged with the responsibility of shopping for a menstrual product.”
A man shopping for tampons always makes for good entertainment.
[Photo from Shutterstock]