Choice Words: Writers on Abortion Group Reading

Contributors to CHOICE WORDS: Writers on Abortion read from their works during this virtual event with editor Annie Finch.

Readers include Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mary Morris, and Sylvia Ramos Cruz. 

RSVP to for the Zoom link

About the book:

We are in a moment when the legitimacy of Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to have an abortion is under attack in every corner of political and social discourse. A book sharing and defending women's abortion experiences could not be timelier or more important for the movement for reproductive justice. More and more people identify as feminists and this book contributes to our feminist catalogue by specifically addressing abortion and reproductive freedom when they are most at the forefront of the feminist movement in this country. Choice Words has been supported by a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $17,000 to not only publish the book but also donate copies for clinics in states where abortion rights are most under attack in the current anti-choice political climate. There will also be new material commissioned for this collection and supported by the Kickstarter funding. Through the Kickstarter campaign marketing work has already been done and word has spread about the anthology and its contributors. This campaign has created a strong foundation for publicity for the book moving forward.

A landmark literary anthology of poems, stories, and essays, Choice Words collects essential voices that renew our courage in the struggle to defend reproductive rights. Twenty years in the making, the book spans continents and centuries. This collection magnifies the voices of people reclaiming the sole authorship of their abortion experiences. These essays, poems, and prose are a testament to the profound political power of defying shame. 

Contributors to the book include Ai, Amy Tan, Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Camonghne Felix, Carol Muske-Dukes, Diane di Prima, Dorothy Parker, Gloria Naylor, Gloria Steinem, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jean Rhys, Joyce Carol Oates, Judith Arcana, Kathy Acker, Langston Hughes, Leslie Marmon Silko, Lindy West, Lucille Clifton, Mahogany L. Browne, Margaret Atwood, Molly Peacock, Ntozake Shange, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Sharon Doubiago, Sharon Olds, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Sholeh Wolpe, Ursula Le Guin, and Vi Khi Nao.

About the readers: 

Annie Finch is an award-winning feminist poet, author of Spells: New and Selected Poems and Calendars, shortlisted for the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year Award. Her ritual drama on abortion, Among the Goddesses, received the Sarasvati Award in Poetry. She is the editor of the new collection, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion.

Sylvia Ramos Cruz is a retired general surgeon, poet, writer and women’s rights activist. She calls Puerto Rico, New York, and New Mexico home. Her poetry and photos have appeared in Malpais Review, Persimmon Tree, Encore: Prize Poems 2017, Journal of Latina Critical Feminism and Sin Fronteras 2019. Her work focuses on women’s history in New Mexico, and this year as part of the centennial of Woman’s Suffrage, she has been research, writing, and speaking about the suffrage movement in New Mexico.

Shirley Geok-lin Lim (born 1944) was born in Malacca Malaysia, educated at Brandeis, and is a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has written many books of poetry, memoir, and fiction. Her first collection of poems, Crossing The Peninsula, won her the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, a first both for an Asian and for a woman. Among several other awards that she has received, her memoir, Among the White Moon Faces, received the 1997 American Book Award.

Mary Morris is a poet and the author of Dear October. She lives in Santa Fe.


"This book is a treasure, a gift, and a long-overdue shining of light in the most secret, sometimes painful, and often defiant lives of women. I am grateful that this anthology finally exists." --Elizabeth Gilbert, author, Eat, Pray, Love

"A powerful collection of poems, fiction, and essays on the reality of abortion. . . Finch (Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters, 2015, etc.) has drawn together writers across time (from the 16th century to the present), place, race, ethnicity, gender, age, and culture who offer stark, often wrenching revelations. . . Eloquent contributions to the literature on a deeply contested issue." --Kirkus, starred review

"The poems, essays, and stories in Choice Words prove that women's bodies cannot be nationalized." -- Gloria Steinem

"Every kind of abortion you can imagine is represented here: abortions legal and illegal, safe and dangerous and fatal; abortions despite the wishes of others and abortions at the behest-the compulsion-of others; abortion as a claiming of self and abortion as an abnegation of self. There is abortion as tragedy, and also abortion as an occasion for wry comedy." -Katha Pollitt, author, Pro

Event date: 
Sunday, August 30, 2020 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
Bookworks on Zoom
RSVP to,
Choice Words: Writers on Abortion By Annie Finch (Editor), Audre Lorde (Contribution by), Dorothy Parker (Contribution by) Cover Image
By Annie Finch (Editor), Audre Lorde (Contribution by), Dorothy Parker (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9781642591484
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Haymarket Books - April 7th, 2020

Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands (Cross-Cultural Memoir) By Shirley Geok-Lin Lim Cover Image
ISBN: 9781558611795
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feminist Press - September 1st, 1997

The Irreversible Sun By Shirley Geok-Lin Lim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780991074266
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: West End Press - September 30th, 2015

Walking Backwards: New Poems By Shirley Geok-Lin Lim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780982696804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: West End Press - October 16th, 2010

The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells By Annie Finch Cover Image
ISBN: 9780819579102
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wesleyan University Press - August 6th, 2019

Dear October: Poems By Mary Morris Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781680032222
Published: Texas Review Press - August 1st, 2020