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Crime Against Nature: Poetry

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Lesbian mother's struggle. Stunning work designated prestigious 1989 Inmont Poetry Selection by the Academy of American Poets.


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Lesbian mother's struggle. Stunning work designated prestigious 1989 Inmont Poetry Selection by the Academy of American Poets.

30 review for Crime Against Nature: Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Polly Theedom

    Must be read out loud! Soulful and painful and gorgeously rhythmic. We very rarely get to peer into someone's regret and shame so consciously. This book is brave. Her relationship to gender and sexuality is so honest and so interesting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kandace

    Heartbreakingly relevant and resonant. That Pratt includes the acceptance speech for the award given for this collection of poetry and a new afterword underscores the importance of context, reflection, and the broad impact of family separation. While clearly engaging with the realities of a state-defined family configuration and it’s homophobic/patriarchal roots, Pratt deftly connects how the family formation structure does not work or protect so many - the racialized, the poor, the undocumented Heartbreakingly relevant and resonant. That Pratt includes the acceptance speech for the award given for this collection of poetry and a new afterword underscores the importance of context, reflection, and the broad impact of family separation. While clearly engaging with the realities of a state-defined family configuration and it’s homophobic/patriarchal roots, Pratt deftly connects how the family formation structure does not work or protect so many - the racialized, the poor, the undocumented to name a few. The book gave me a new way to think about family, mothers/children, and my own choices I have made as consciously childless and queer. If I was teaching I would offer this alongside a viewing of Carol and Dean Spade’s book against homonormativity. They would make for such good critical discussion. A heavy collection of essays and (mostly) poems, with healthy glimmers of resistance, resilience and healing. That motherhood and sex is laid so bare is a feat to witness. Pratt is a wonderful anti-racist white lesbian weaver of important words for us all.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lilly Jeanne

    An absolute must-read! While most of the lesbian poetry I have read either proudly celebrates wlw's love or expresses the social struggles that are specific to our experience of being gay in a heteronormative environment, this collection is very unique as it mostly focuses on motherhood. It is a book about conciliating motherhood and queerness. It takes us back to a time when gay people were not allowed to grow a family. Minnie Bruce Pratt was denied motherhood because she was a lesbian. It is a An absolute must-read! While most of the lesbian poetry I have read either proudly celebrates wlw's love or expresses the social struggles that are specific to our experience of being gay in a heteronormative environment, this collection is very unique as it mostly focuses on motherhood. It is a book about conciliating motherhood and queerness. It takes us back to a time when gay people were not allowed to grow a family. Minnie Bruce Pratt was denied motherhood because she was a lesbian. It is a political book because of the dynamics of stigmatization, social injustice and rejection that shaped MBP's existence. But deep down, for me this book was less about the social stigma (yet well depicted in the poems) than about Minnie Bruce Pratt's own path in overcoming guilt and shame. It is a very introspective, personal piece of writing, raw and intimate.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Devin

    Incredible read from Minnie-Bruce Pratt, outlining the traumatic incident of her losing custody of her children in 1975 after coming out as a lesbian. Minnie-Bruce uses such beautiful poetic imagery to convey such trauma, but not to make you feel for her, but for you to understand how powerful she is despite that. And she is; I am honored time and time again to call her a personal friend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Touching sad beautiful account of losing custody of her children for being a lesbian, her ongoing relationship with her boys and to nature, and a damning account of homophobia and the sexist double standards we hold women to.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Herbie

    In 2016, this year of gay marriage in every state of the US, it feels too easy for queers to forget their history. We take for granted that we can have families, be partners to one another, be parents. It feels too easy to forget that very recently, our lives and our love were not only illegal but under constant threat of vigilante violence. The smallest of expressions of queer love could be enough to beget severe repercussions. (It's easy to forget that this is still a reality for many in our c In 2016, this year of gay marriage in every state of the US, it feels too easy for queers to forget their history. We take for granted that we can have families, be partners to one another, be parents. It feels too easy to forget that very recently, our lives and our love were not only illegal but under constant threat of vigilante violence. The smallest of expressions of queer love could be enough to beget severe repercussions. (It's easy to forget that this is still a reality for many in our community today). These poems will teach you the injustices and sufferings that Minnie Bruce Pratt, who should be one of our most dearly held queer elders, faced in the 70s and 80s. Courts and judges and laws validating the rough man at the gas station who calls you dyke. The community turning against you for your sexual desires, and for expressing them without fear. And commingled with these sufferings, the dyke bars, the community, the fearlessness, the pleasures of the sex itself. These poems are really beautiful. And this work seems like it is not widely read, not nearly enough. The constant turn to empathy here reminds me of Rankine's Citizen. The everyday folk remind me of Frost. There's more to say: about bodies and ancestry and parenthood and how history lives in the landscape, and in us. It's been a long time since I opened a book of poetry and read it front to back, but these poems, raw and rich, compelled me through them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    In these well measured and extremely moving poems, Minnie Bruce Pratt relates an amazing story about the strength of women and their ability to survive inside and outside the patriarchal institution of motherhood. By carefully unfolding narratives that tell of how her two sons were taken away from her when she realized she was lesbian, Pratt has created a timely tale (in light of the ensuing debate over lesbians’ and gays’ right to marriage and the inevitable arguments against its “unnaturalnes In these well measured and extremely moving poems, Minnie Bruce Pratt relates an amazing story about the strength of women and their ability to survive inside and outside the patriarchal institution of motherhood. By carefully unfolding narratives that tell of how her two sons were taken away from her when she realized she was lesbian, Pratt has created a timely tale (in light of the ensuing debate over lesbians’ and gays’ right to marriage and the inevitable arguments against its “unnaturalness”) that draws amazing parallels between the losses and rejections that every woman feels as her children grow up and away from her and the feelings of isolation associated with the ostracism of gays and lesbians by their friends, community and family. But, as Pratt asserts well in her own words, “the one who tells the tale/gets to name the monster” (115); so here, she gets to weave this complicated story and implicate all who played their part in this devastating event, including turning that critical eye on herself. And, like the image she repeatedly uses throughout the book, of water slowly eroding even the hardest rocks, the reader is ultimately led to see the cumulative effect of this severing of a mother and her children, on the parties involved and on society as a whole.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angie Orlando

    In the late 1970's/early '80's, the author was deemed unfit to be a mother and lost custody of her two young sons The only charge against her was being a lesbian, but under law, a woman cannot be a mother and lesbian. This is her story and that of her sons. The poetry is beautiful and rough, with raw emotions dripping over every page. This is a book about injustice, and she tells it from the heart. The real crime against nature is that she, and many women like her, lost children. A woman, a moth In the late 1970's/early '80's, the author was deemed unfit to be a mother and lost custody of her two young sons The only charge against her was being a lesbian, but under law, a woman cannot be a mother and lesbian. This is her story and that of her sons. The poetry is beautiful and rough, with raw emotions dripping over every page. This is a book about injustice, and she tells it from the heart. The real crime against nature is that she, and many women like her, lost children. A woman, a mother... Yes. A woman, a mother, a lesbian, no. Yes, yes, a woman, a mother, a lesbian.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Isaiah

    For a review of this book see http://mibookreviews.wordpress.com/ For a review of this book see http://mibookreviews.wordpress.com/

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Wyss

    A wrenching series of poems about Pratt's relationship with her sons after she came out as a lesbian, when she lost primary custody to her homophobic husband.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    poetry

  12. 5 out of 5

    mr. kate

    Crime Against Nature is beautiful. It is full of love and pain and devotion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Drake

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tesni

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie Walker

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aiden

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bryce Renninger

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Strohecker

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zaynab Shahar

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jendi

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kara

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brigid

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ana-Maria

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

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