Poetry. Jewish Studies. Women's Studies. LGBT Studies. "Elana Dykewomon's poems are reminders not to take anything for granted: to listen to the messages embedded in others' silences, to look beneath the rubble of violence, and to value the pleasures of intimate loving. Presenting the poetry written over the past four decades, What Can I Ask is wise, passionate, and inspirational. I so value this work and always keep it close to my heart."—Irena Klepfisz, Author of A Few Words in the Mother Tongue Elana Dykewomon's poetry bears witness to the lives of lesbians. She asks and demands that we be responsible and responsive to one another; that we bring care, compassion, accountability, and love in the proper proportions. These are poems that help us understand the contours of sexism, homophobia, racism, and anti- Semitism. And they are poems that illuminate what we can ask from and offer one another. Drawing on Dykewomon's impressive body of poetry, WHAT CAN I ASK: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS assembles into a single volume poems from Dykewomon's three published collections, They Will Know Me By My Teeth (Megaera Press, 1976), Fragments from Lesbos (Diaspora Distribution, 1981), and Nothing Will Be As Sweet as the Taste (Onlywomen Press, 1995), as well as a selection of newer, uncollected poems. Dykewomon continues asking questions and reaching for answers, demonstrating the power of poetry to comfort and enrage, inspire and arouse.
Elana Dykewomon is a Jewish lesbian activist, award- winning author, editor, and professor. Her first novel, Riverfinger Woman, published in 1974, was selected for The Publishing Triangle's list of 100 best lesbian and gay novels. Best known for her Lammy winning historical novel, Beyond the Pale, Dykewomon was also awarded the 2009 James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist's Prize. She was the editor of Sinister Wisdom from 1987 to 1994 and currently lives in Oakland, California.Author City: OAKLAND, CA USA