The poem was written in response to the 2015 exhibition Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings.
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What’s cool is that this is a poem inspired by an art exhibit and a famous video moment from the 2011 uprisings. JC writes: “The poem was written in response to an exhibit at the Bryn Mawr College library, Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings, co-curated by Christiane Gruber and Nama Khalil of the University of Michigan. Its inspiration was a video clip of soldiers dragging and kicking a young woman in Tahrir Square. Her burqa had opened, revealing a blue bra. The bra became a revolutionary meme and graffito of Arab Spring, but I am haunted by the girl and her disappearance. Who is she? Has she survived?” Questions to be asked!
Todd is author of What Space this Body, a collection of poems described by MacArthur Award poet, Eleanor Wilner, as “a rare combination of daring material and meticulous intellect.” Awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, Todd has also been a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H Winner Award (2015) and Lucille Medwick Memorial Award (2006), and has been named a commended poet in the Hippocrates International Prize in Poetry and Medicine. She has published two chapbooks, Entering Pisces (Pine Press, 1985) and Nightshade (Pine Press, 2000). Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner and The Virginia Quarterly Review, and her translations have been anthologized in New European Poets. Formerly a contributing editor for The Drunken Boat, she edited and compiled translation features on contemporary poetry from Latvia and Lithuania.
At Bryn Mawr, she has taught Introduction to Creative Writing, Poetry I & II, Emily Balch Seminars, and Writing Workshops.