How Slam Poet Lily Myers Is Inspired To Resist By The Stories Of Witches And Female Healers
In the months since Donald Trump has become president, more and more people have become inspired to join the Resistance — whether that means volunteering, campaigning, donating, making calls, educating themselves and others on the issues, or otherwise. Bustle's 31 Days of Reading Resistance takes a look at the role of literature and writing in the Resistance, both as a source of inspiration and as a tool for action.
When it comes to speaking and writing about resistance, slam poetry can be an incredibly powerful tool. Slam poet Lily Myers talks about resistance in her viral slam poem 'Shrinking Women': resistance against the pressures placed on women when it comes to body image. She explores this further in her young-adult novel in verse This Impossible Light, in which her teenage protagonist Ivy has to learn to reclaim her identity and self-worth in the face of disordered eating. Her work is raw, brave, and resilient, and Myers talks about four books that have had a particular impact on her learning to resist the messages that society gives us.
Listening to Lily Myers recite her inspiring slam poems will leave you with the powerful feeling that you, too, can stand tall against the issues you disagree with, and the things that threaten to break you down — and reading these four books will only make that feeling grow even stronger:
Myers says: "This book is one of my all-time favorites. At a very young age, Matilda taught me that it's cool to like reading, and that it's OK to show how smart you are. Even if others (like your family) don't support or encourage your passion, pursue knowledge anyway! Matilda taught me that it's radical to own your curiosity and your love of learning."
Myers says: "Everyone should read this book. It's about what would happen if the control over women's bodies was taken to the ultimate extreme. It's a very intense, viscerally terrifying book; but it's about the resilience of women, and how we can find even the smallest freedom in a world that wants to take it away completely."
Myers says: "This is a fascinating, short book written in the '70s, about how women healers were historically delegitimized and pushed out of healing work to make room for a male-dominated, professionalized medical industry. It's infuriating to read about how women's wisdom was completely disregarded and disrespected. This book will want to make you reclaim knowledge of your body, and further question the corrupted roots of our broken healthcare system."
Myers says: "The next time a guy tries to mansplain something to you, just hand him this book and walk away. Solnit's incisive voice makes this genius book of essays a striking and infuriating read. Besides the funny, famous essay on mansplaining, she also includes a devastating piece on violence against women, and how this violence comes from the silencing of women and their experiences."
Follow along all month long for more Reading Resistance book recommendations.