Polite Occasions writes back both to Revelation and Emily Post because it imagines the future is female, that she is a lady, and if the human race Is to survive what evangelical Christians call “end times,” it will be because ladies have decided to make unladylike plans. This collection is largely set in a dystopian near-future world where political structures have become authoritarian and many feel spiritually adrift, all while most people pretend not to notice. It examines the ways in which silence renders people complicit with oppression in all its forms. It earnestly explores faith through doubt and disappointment. It might even be called a Christian poetry collection, though it is surely one that some right-wing Christians would like to burn. It is an unapologetically feminist work as well, one that understands that the oppression of women often gets enacted in the name of false gods.
The poems of this collection speak their exhortations to the reader in both formal and free verse in a high vernacular that considers contemporary life in reference to much older texts. Some of the works of this collection have won prizes, and many have been published in journals in North America, Europe, and Asia. The collection stands as a warning to both the faithful and faithless that we live in an era where we might fall under an Orwellian regime infused with religious language and that democracy might fall while we take selfies.
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