In AS I SAID: A DISSENT, Abby Minor rejects the vacated terms of the conventional "abortion debate." Instead, these polyvocal poems explore the “exquisite business” of inheritance, embodiment, justice, and citizenship. Anchored by a documentary study of the infamous nineteenth-century abortion provider Madame Restell, Minor’s dissent deftly interweaves historical documents and oral interviews with frank details of contemporary Appalachian life. AS I SAID eludes the instrumentalization of reproductive storytelling in favor of becoming “aperture / at once seeing / and being ajar.”
"Abby Minor’s AS I SAID: A DISSENT, is a brilliant deep dive into intertwined histories between poet and subject and arrives on the heels of ruinous antiabortion rulings, certainly making this a reading of our daily tea leaves. I love this wild ride of soft beauty and harsh realities through the tabloid hell of nineteenth-century New York City and the poet’s own Appalachia. And I applaud Minor, a poet with the guts to humanize “the wickedest woman in New York.”"
-Brenda Coultas, author of The Tatters
"Abby Minor writes lines that dance and leap, each a necessary testament to a life planted in the ridges of Appalachia and reaching back to the nits of New York tenements. Maximalist miner at the microfilm machine, at the interview, at personal memory and public myth, she challenges oppression with a wink: nimble humor and no-joke, vulnerable commitments to beauty and truth. This book matters—not least because it is a deep pleasure to read, satisfying in its art and surprising in its generosity and range of engagement."
-Julia Spicher Kasdorf, author of Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields
"AS I SAID brims with such textural richness that it feels like ASMR—something that would be easy to enjoy even if it didn't mean anything. But because this work is about abortion, reproduction, and fertility, it's about everything. This book isn't weighty, in fact it's got bounce, but it's a sensory tour of the ineffable emotional data that lives in our cells, and the cells of our daughter's daughters, and when you're talking about everything, it weighs a lot. Abby made this ancient matter feel brightly alive, like a plucky stranger leaning into your ear and telling you a secret. This book made me see things."
-Amelia Bonow, Founding Director of Shout Your Abortion
Poetry. Women’s Studies.
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Abby Minor lives in the ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania, where she works on poems, essays, and projects exploring reproductive politics. Granddaughter of Appalachian tinkerers and Yiddish-speaking New Yorkers, she teaches poetry in her region's low-income nursing homes and has worked as a seamstress, server, university writing instructor, produce truck driver, studio assistant, and roadie. In 2018 she was awarded Bitch Media's Writing Fellowship in Sexual Politics. She serves on the Board of Abortion Conversation Projects, is author of the chapbooks Real Words for Inside (Gap Riot Press) and Plant Light, Dress Light (dancing girl press), and directs an arts education nonprofit called Ridgelines Language Arts.