Towards Restorative Justice In The Poetry Community

Erica Mena
Nov 7, 2016 · 2 min read
  1. Drunken Boat stands with , and , and the others who have spoken openly or anonymously about their experiences of sexual violence, abuse, and harassment in our community. admires the bravery of all those who have spoken up about their experiences of sexual assault and harassment in literary spaces.
  2. Drunken Boat stands with all those who have experienced sexual violence, abuse, and harassment in our community who have not yet or may never speak out about their experiences. They are brave and strong and we are grateful for their silent strength.
  3. Oppression, violence, and abuse harm not only their targets, but also their perpetrators, and our entire community.
  4. Drunken Boat opposes the carceral state, which is built upon and upholds systems of racism, misogyny, and white supremacy.
  5. Therefore we reject the framework of retributive justice. We reject attempts to ascertain an objective “truth,” to determine innocence and guilt in the criminal sense, and we know that that no healing or restoration can be achieved by pursuing these questions.
  6. Drunken Boat is grateful for has already done in addressing this harm. Drunken Boat the men of our community have already offered.
  7. We know that healing only begins once the harm is exposed, once the harm is addressed. Those who speak out share their burden, the harm, with our community, and with the person(s) who caused it. That is the necessary first step toward healing our community. They must not be expected to hold this burden alone. It is our burden to hold together. Those who speak out do our community a great service: they have given us a chance to work towards repairing something that is fundamentally broken. They have done this hard work drawing on their own time, energy, and emotional resources to bring us this truth: that our community is not exempt from the misogyny and violence that condition our entire world. And now we are responsible for holding space for their pain, their desires for accountability, and for reparations.
  8. We are responsible for the culture of our community.
  9. focuses not on retribution but on “restoration, making things right … on repair of social injury.” The goal is not revenge, or punishment, but healing, for the victim and the perpetrator, and through their healing for the community.
  10. Reparative justice seeks not only to repair injury, but also “reparative” outcomes, and reparation, as an alternative to punishment. This is what we seek in writing this, in acknowledging that we have accountability in the creation of this culture that allows harm to happen. This is what we must seek together as a community in order to repair the norms that allow for this kind of harm to continue happening.
  11. Drunken Boat commits to restorative and reparative justice within the literary arts community, to that process and that work.

Anomaly

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and Art

Erica Mena

Written by

Erica Mena is a queer latinx poet, translator, book artist, publisher. They are the editor of Anomalous Press, teach at Brown, and are at cyborgkitty.com

Anomaly

Anomaly

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and Art