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

Product Code: 8984
ISBN: 9781642598964
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Haymarket
Pages: 420
Published Date: 08/23/2022
Availability:In stock
Price: $19.99

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 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.

Bookmark and Share

Katha Pollitt

Annie Finch


You Are Here Cin Salach
First Response Desiree Cooper
From The Women of Brewster Place Gloria Naylor
(Amber) Debra Bruce
From The Kitchen God’s Wife Amy Tan
The End Sharon Olds
A Million Women Are Your Mother Saniyya Saleh
“Oh Yeah, Because You Could Choose Not To,” from Now for the North Emily DeDakis
From The Millstone Margaret Drabble
The Abortion I Didn’t Want Caitlin McDonnell
Free and Safe Abortion Ana Gabriela Rivera
Merely by Wildreness Molly Wollstonecraft
You Have No Name, No Grave, No Identity Manisha Sharma
Five Months Vulnerable Burleigh Mutén
FromPast Due Anne Finger
Abortion Ai
From Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman Lindy West
The Pill Versus the Springfield Mine Disaster Joanna C. Valente
You Don’t Know Judith Arcana
Ghazal Jenna Le
From What Have You Done for Me Lately? Myrna Lamb
Post-Abortion Questionnaire—Powered by SurveyMonkey Susan Rich

From “Tam Lin” Anonymous Balladeers
The Business of Machines Shirley Geok-lin Lim
FromHeat and Dust Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
On the Death and Hacking into a Hundred Pieces of Nineteen-Year-Old Barbara Lofrumento by an Illegal Abortionist, 1962 Pat Falk
FromSelf-Ritual for Invoking Release of Spirit Life in the Womb Deborah Maia
And There Is This Edge Lauren R. Corn
Tugging SeSe Geddes
From Happening Annie Ernaux
Saraswati Praises Your Name Even When You Have No Choice Purvi Shah
“Recruiting New Counselors” fromJane: Abortion and the Underground Paula Kamen
From “Box Set” Sue D. Burton
Birth Wendy Chin-Tanner
The Scarlet A Soniah Kamal
Sorry I’m Late Kristen R. Ghodsee
Pelican Mahogany L. Browne
Names of Exotic Gods and Children Valley Haggard
Dare of Last Period Amy Alvarez
Remembering How My Native American Grandfather Told Me a Pregnant Woman Had Swallowed Watermelon Seeds Jennifer Reeser
From “Make Your Own Way Home” Leila Aboulela
An Avocado Is Going to Have an Abortion Vi Khi Nao
Yolk(v.) Emily Carr
This Doctor Speaks: Abortion Is Health Care Sylvia Ramos Cruz
In Which I Am a Volcano, fromTerminations:One Lynne DeSilva-Johnson
Cold Cuts and Conceptions Julia Conrad
My Excuse: I Had an Abortion. What’s Yours? Laura Wetherington
The Jewel of Tehran Sholeh Wolpé
Heart The mother Gwendolyn Brooks
Places Mariana Enriquez
Women’s Liberation Judith Arcana
Cardboard Pope Galina Yudovich
FromGranica (Boundary) Zofia Nałkowska
Interred Patibha Kelapure
She Did Not Tell Her Mother (A Found Poem) Kenyan Teenagers and Annie Finch
The Lady with the Lamp Dorothy Parker
From Rubyfruit Jungle Ruby Mae Brown
From La Bâtarde Violette Leduc
I Am Used to Keeping Secrets about My Body Josette Akresh-Gonzales
Weather Lisa Coffman
Of the Missing Fifty Million Shikha Malaviya
My Sister Grows Big and Small Linda Ashok
Tweets in Exile from Northern Ireland Jennifer Hanratty
The Virginity Theif (A Letter to My Man) Thylias Moss
Abortion Hallucination Larissa Shmailo
Brass Furnace Going Out: Song, After an Abortion Diane di Prima
What Was, Still Is Alida Rol
From “Abortion” Anne Finger
Song of Emmenagogues Lesley Wheeler
From The Hundred Secret Senses Amy Tan
Nothing but the Wind Farideh Hassanzadeh-Mistafavi
Haint Teri Cross Davis
The Memory of Abortion Unexpectedly Returns Leslie Monsour
Moo and Thrall Dana Levin
From La Nove de los locos (The Ship of Fools) Cristina Peri Rossi
Abortion Bobbie Louise Hawkins
From Come in Spinner Dymphna Cusack and Florence James
From “Standing Ground” Ursula K. Le Guin
Dear Elegy the Size of a Blueberry Katy Day
“Farewell, My Love,” from The Sacrament of Abortion Ginette Paris
Afterlife Joan Larkin


Through the Blood Busisiwe Mahlangu
Right to Life Marge Piercy
From Zami: A New Spelling of My Name Audre Lorde
The Spring of Life Ann Townsend
From for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf Ntozake Shange
From “Introduction to ‘The Idea’ and ‘The Idea’” Hilde Wisert
Not Yours Angelique Imani Rodriguez
Being a Woman Jennifer Goldwasser
An Abortion Day Spell for Two Voices Annie Finch
I Think She was a She Leyla Josephine
Regarding Choice Alexis Quinlan
We Women Edith Södergran
“Don Quixote’s Abortion,” from Don Quixote Kathy Acker
American Abortion Sonnet #7 Ellen Stone
After the Abortion, an Older White Planned Parenthood Volunteer Asks If My Husband Is Here & Squeezes My Thigh and Says, “You Made The Right Decision,” and Then “Look What Could Happen If Trump Were President, I Mean, You Might Not Even Be Here” Camonghne Felix
New World Order Lisa Alvarado
From “Daughter of Earth” Agnes Smedley
The Abortion Anne Sexton
Confession #1 Yesenia Montilla
From Frog Mo Yan
Getting into Trouble Jacqueline Saphra
The Children’s Crusade Ana Blandiana
A Promise Gloria Steinem


Poem for Myself and Mei: Concerning Abortion Leslie Marmon Silko
A Good Woman Would Never Sylvia Beaton
Abortion Isn’t Beautiful Nicole Walker
Magdalen Amy Levy
The Year the Law Changed Carol Muske-Dukes
I Bloomed Angie Masters
From “Corona and Confession Ellen McGrath Smith
The Promise Tara Betts
From “A Healing Abortion Ceremony” Jane Hardwicke Collings and Melody Bee
A Birth Plan for Dying Hanna Neuschwander
On That Day Arisa White
New Religion Mary Morris
Hail Mary Deborah Hauser
At Advent, the Waiting Room Daisy Fried
From A Book of American Martyrs Joyce Carol Oates
Tunnel of Light Julie Kane
Lizard Ulrica Hume
Beneath the World: Two Poems to The Child Never to Be Born Sharon Doubiago
Prayers to the Spirit Starhawk
The lost baby poem Lucille Clifton
Abortion Child Jean Valentine
“Fire Section” from Abortions: A Healing Ritual Minerva Earthchild and Vibra Willow
An Abortion Frank O’Hara
From “Principles of Midwifery,” from My Notorious Life Kate Manning
Christmas Carols Margaret Atwood
Nicolette Colette Inez
From “Lily’s Abortion in the Room of Statues” in Among the Goddesses Annie Finch
Chapel of Forgiveness Cathleen Calbert
From Surfacing Margaret Atwood
Morning Sickness T. Thorn Coyle
Lullaby Claressinka Anderson

Credits For Reprinted Texts
Timeline of Pre-Twenty-First-Century Works

“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

"This is a captivating collection, organized and curated as only Annie Finch can do. It is a book I will cherish for years to come." —Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author, Balm

"A powerful collection of poems, fiction, and essays on the reality of abortion. . . Finch 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

"With reproductive rights under relentless assault, never has a book been more needed. Annie Finch has spanned five centuries and six continents to assemble writers who articulate a commonality of experience in every situation and emotion. Conceived and compiled with scrupulous scholarship, and with an illuminating introduction by Katha Pollitt, Choice Words will become a classic of both feminism and literature." —Robin Morgan, activist, author, host of Women's Media Center Live

Be the first to submit a review on this product!
Review and Rate this Item

You might also be interested in: