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Poems that address the pain caused by gender stereotypes and racial oppression in the American South.
Claire Millikin’s poetry collection, Dolls, stages a confrontation of gendered and racial oppression. Working through the motif of the doll, the poems interrogate femininity in the traditional culture of the South, where damaging structures of gender and race are upheld. Millikin centers the book on an elegy for Sage Smith, an African American trans woman who disappeared from Charlottesville in 2012. Through the recurring figure of the doll—an ultra-femme figure who is frozen, damaged, silenced—Millikin protests the conditions of sexism in the area she was born in, offering poised responses to the wound of injustice that still shapes the region. With a reflective introduction by poet and scholar Sean Frederick Forbes, Dolls presents a harsh look at the price of traditional femininity.
About the Author
Claire Millikin is the author of seven books of poetry, including After Houses-Poetry for the Homeless, Tartessos and Other Cities, and Ransom Street, also published by 2Leaf Press. She has taught at the University of Maine Farmington and at the University of Virginia, and she holds a research fellowship at Princeton. Under the name of Claire Raymond, she publishes scholarship focusing on issues of race, gender, and decolonizing theory. Her scholarly books include Witnessing Sadism in Texts of the American South and Women Photographers and Feminist Aesthetics.
Sean Frederick Forbes is director of the Creative Writing Program and assistant professor-in-residence in the Department of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He is coeditor of The Beiging of America and What Does it Mean to be White in America? and is the author of the poetry collection, Providencia. He is also the series editor of 2Leaf Press’s 2LP Explorations in Diversity.