Poets against Domestic Violence

(From Doug Johnson of Cave Moon Press)

April 30, 2012

Dear Poet:

In 2011 we produced the anthology entitled Broken Circles to benefit hunger.  The strategy was simple and it succeeded in helping local food banks from San Francisco to New York.  Poets were charged with setting up readings to help to their local food bank.  Our local efforts benefit Northwest Harvest in Yakima.  Last week the San Francisco food bank thanked our poets for their efforts.

For 2013 we’re hoping to leverage this strategy to another issue—domestic violence.

Cave Moon Press

We’re hoping that at each local level poets can interface with their YWCA or battered women’s shelter to come up with ways to help.  Our efforts will benefit those organizations. The global village of the Internet allows this strategy to become scalable.  YWCA’s all over the country are able to create their own events to fit their own local needs.

One idea is for each group to organize a “Pack your dreams” campaign.  Women in these shelters, many times, have children and are ill-equipped to survive.  People could donate backpacks with essential hygienic items and school supplies.  Hopefully, a backpack would cost around twenty dollars—, unless there is a local underwriter.  With some planning benefit concerts and readings could take place in the shelters or a “safe” environment.

One editorial decision is that each poem will be Anonymous 1, Anonymous 2 in order to protect the poets as well as illustrate the objectivication of victims. Instead of extensive biographies, there will be only a list of names. People who have survived are all at different places on the road of sharing. Safety is paramount for their healing. Some are still in danger.  Even lifting a pen for a poem feels terrifying. Some are physically safe while still chained to memories.  Some are still harassed, having their week punctuated with fear like the appearance of a garden snake in the path.  People still need to find a way to speak.

We have an agreement with our local YWCA, so publicity will reflect that fact.  Letters like this will be available for poets to take to their local YWCA. Together as poets we can look at ways to scale this to regions or the nation.  Broken Circles was just the beginning and we’re hoping that with this much notice, together, we can help even more people.

Thanks for your time.

Please place poems in MS Word with KTS_[YOUR_NAME]_043012 as the file.

Please put Keys to Silence in the message line. Include contact information in the message.

Doug Johnson

Cave Moon Press – Executive director

(The .pdf is for sharing.  It contains the same information)


About Splabman

Poet & interviewer Paul E Nelson founded SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Since 1993, SPLAB has produced hundreds of poetry events & 600 hours of interview programming with legendary poets & whole systems activists including Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Diane di Prima, Daphne Marlatt, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Barry McKinnon, José Kozer, Brenda Hillman & many others. Paul’s books include American Prophets (interviews 1994-2012) (2018) American Sentences (2015) A Time Before Slaughter (2009) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (2013). Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia (2015), 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards (2017) and Samthology: A Tribute to Sam Hamill (2019) Make it True meets Medusario (2019), he’s presented poetry/poetics in London, Brussels, Nanaimo, Qinghai & Beijing, China, has had work translated into Spanish, Chinese & Portuguese & writes an American Sentence every day. Awarded a residency at The Lake, from the Morris Graves Foundation in Loleta, CA, he’s published work in Golden Handcuffs Review, Zen Monster, Hambone, and elsewhere. Winner of the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from The Capilano Review, he is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s Cedar River watershed.
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3 Responses to Poets against Domestic Violence

  1. Great project. I just sent in a submission to the cave moon email address I have for you Doug. Hope it gets to you.


  2. Debbie Bongiovanni says:


    I wrote a poetry book on abuse and I would love to either send you the book or send you a few poems for the anthology.



  3. Splabman says:

    http://cavemoonpress.org is the press to which you would send poems.

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