All Hail the World's First Menstrual Poetry Slam


The world’s first official menstrual-themed poetry slam (that we know of, at least) — dubbed “Red Howl Moon,” naturally — will attempt to normalize that time of the month via verse. Sweet.

DNA Info reports that the slam will take place at NYC’s Marymount Manhattan College on June 7 at 8 p.m. as part of the biennial Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference. It will honor Gloria Steinem “for her work in taking down social taboos toward menstruation” and Sylvia Plath, who once wrote, “‘If I didn’t have sex organs, I wouldn’t waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.'” This is the first time the conference has ever included slam poetry.

Conference founder/Marymount professor David Linton became interested in periods after England’s Prince Charles said he wanted to be Camilla’s “tampon” and will be presenting a poem about “a man who’s charged with the responsibility of shopping for a menstrual product.” The horror!

Karina Billini, a Marymount grad and slam organizer, said she hopes the slam encourages people to finally take down the Red Tent of Shame, so to speak:

“Menstruation is seen as a handicap for women,” she said. “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.”

Okay, here’s a period haiku for you:

Why am I sleepy?/Why do my insides hate me?/AND THEN THE BLOOD COMES.

Your turn.

[DNA Info]

Image via matka_Wariatka/Shutterstock.

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