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Canaries and Coal Mines: A Review of Jenny Molberg's Refusal

by Kara Dorris


I wish that, when I was a My Little Pony girl, when I was aCluelessteenager, when I was Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a freshman at UC Sunnydale, or when I was a young Rory Gilmore trying to figure out my career, someone had shown me the Duluth Power and Control Wheel; I wish someone had explained the insidious methods of minimizing, monitoring, and denying that abusers use to isolate and control another human being. I wish I had learned decades ago that refusal is not synonymous with wicked or unladylike. That ‘unladylike’ is a bullshit descriptor anyway. That, even (especially) as a woman, I could (and should) define myself. Jenny Molberg’s second poetry collection,Refusal(LSU Press),is a documentary of survival testimonials, a remedy; her speakers embody the female quest not only for identity but, as Adrienne Rich states, a woman’s “refusal of the self-destructiveness of male-dominated society.”.... Click here to read the rest of the review.


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