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From Rich Newman's Writing Desk: News & Events

Dear Friends, First, you may be wondering why this newsletter looks different from the last one I sen
From Rich Newman's Writing Desk: News & Events
By Richard Jeffrey Newman • Issue #3 • View online
Dear Friends,
First, you may be wondering why this newsletter looks different from the last one I sent. It’s because I had to switch services yet again. The last time I tried to communicate with you, TinyLetter’s filters flagged the content of my email as inappropriate. Given the subjects I often write about, this was not entirely unreasonable. However, despite their reassurances that it would take no more than 24 hours to resolve the issue, it took them several days to do so, and that was only after I resorted to leaving a message on MailChimp’s Facebook page. The service I am using this time is called Revue, and I am hoping this occasional newsletter will find a permanent home here.

I want to tell you about two upcoming events that I am very excited about:
  • Share a Cup of Poetry: On October 5th, I’ll be reading with poet Christine Barbour at Sip This in Valley Stream. For more information, click here.
  • The Ollom Art Festival: Now in it’s 15th year, this festival features interesting, provocative, challenging, and sometimes disturbing work that deals with important issues. This year’s theme is “The Hole Project: Mining Portals of Vulnerability.” The festival runs from November 10 - 15. I’ll be giving a workshop on November 14th called Writing About What You’re Afraid to Write About (time and place to be announced). For a workshop description click the link above. To find out more about the festival as a whole, click here.
I’m also really happy to share with you this lovely review of Words For What Those Men Have Done, written by Pramila Venkateswaran. It’s the first review of my work that doesn’t use euphemism to dance around the fact that I write about sexual violence–which I find really refreshing.
Speaking of sexual violence, I am sure you are all following what’s been going on with the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Now, in addition to those brought by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, The New Yorker has reported further allegations by a woman named Deborah Ramirez; and Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenetti, is claiming to represent a third woman:
Michael Avenatti
I represent a woman with credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. We will be demanding the opportunity to present testimony to the committee and will likewise be demanding that Judge and others be subpoenaed to testify. The nomination must be withdrawn.
7:33 PM - 23 Sep 2018
Who knows how all this will all fall out in terms of whether or not Kavanaugh is eventually confirmed or his nomination is withdrawn. One thing this whole affair has done, though, is raise again the question of why survivors of sexual violence, of all genders, so often don’t report their experience until years and sometimes many decades have passed. I have been reading, and I have contributed to, the Twitter hashtag #WhyDidntIReport. This was my tweet:
Richard J Newman
Because in 1974, when I was 12, I did not have the words to call what he did to me a sexual violation, and by the time I did have the words (thanks to feminism)—I was 19—he, whose name I never knew, was long gone. #WhyDidntIReport
6:28 AM - 24 Sep 2018
The rest of the hashtag is worth reading as well, in particular for reminders like this:
Kelly Macías, Ph.D.
I’m so angry right now that the conversation has to be about #WhyDidntIReport instead of confronting the truth about why so many people are rapists and abusers. Once again, survivors are forced to defend ourselves while abusers face zero accountability.
1:22 PM - 21 Sep 2018
(There are by now a couple of different iterations of the hashtag, like this one, that are also worth reading.)
I hope your fall is off to a pleasant start and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at one of my future events. As usual, I’d love to hear what you think.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Richard Jeffrey Newman

As a poet and essayist, my work is rooted in the impact feminism has had on my life as a man, particularly as a survivor of childhood sexual violence. As a literary co-translator, I write about the relevance of classical Persian poetry to our contemporary lives.

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