In this brave and devastatingly beautiful anthology, the illustrious poet and editor Aracelis Girmay gathers complex and intimate pieces that illuminate the nuances of personal and collective histories, analyses, practices, and choices surrounding pregnancy.

Product Code: 9082
ISBN: 9781642598391
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Haymarket
Pages: 320
Published Date: 02/07/2023
Availability:In stock
Price: $21.95

Featuring the brilliant voices of writers such as Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Patricia Smith, Elizabeth Alexander, and more, this book is a lighthouse—a tool and companion—for those navigating pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, birth, loss, grief, and love.

In So We Can Know: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth, pieces range from essays to poems to interviews, with a broad entanglement of various themes, from many different perspectives including Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, and more. At a time when people are becoming more and more limited in their choices surrounding pregnancy and abortion, this record is increasingly urgent and indispensable.

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“The Evanesced: The Retrieval #48”
Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle

A Caul
Nina Angela Mercer

Aracelis Girmay


“The Evanesced: Rivers”
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

Dear Alice, ‘for the murder of [your] bastard child’ of the starry-eyed tribe born to children
Uniya Najaer

If I Am Ever Less Than a Mountain
Dominique Matti

My Nothings
Ama Codjoe

Then They Came for Our Wombs
Sandra Guzmán

We participate in the creation of the world by decreating ourselves
Jennifer S. Cheng

Wanting a Child Makes No Goddamn Sense
Tiphanie Yanique

After Birth: Stories of Birthing and Grieving at the Same Time
Bhanu Kapil

The Distance of a Sky
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha and Deema K. Shehabi

The Offering
Cynthia Dewi Oka

Indian Condition: Excerpt from Heart Berries
Terese Marie Mailhot

A Conversation Between Mother and Daughter
Shaina P. Jones and Jada S. Jones

A Conversation between Naima Green and Suhaly Bautista-Carolina


Twenty-First Century Fertility Support: Seven Years, No Baby Yet
Celeste Mendoza

Till the Ground Fertile
LeConté Dill

What We Don’t Say
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

A Dollar and a Dream
Keeonna Harris

The Water Clock
Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

I Am in a Room. I Am on a Rock.
Ruth Irupé Sanabria

“Anatomy of the Breast”
Laurie Ann Guerrero

Excerpt from “Your Black Eye and My Birth” from Heart Berries
Terese Marie Mailhot

I Chose to Stay Awake Maria Hamilton Abegunde
The Beginning and End of It
Patricia Smith

Excerpt from :Better Parts” from Heart Berries
Terese Marie Mailhot

Catalyst for a Daughter-in-Law
Laurie Ann Guerrero

Think of the Children
Kimiko Hahne

Tits and Ass
Deborah Paredez


Death to Breath: A Mother/Daughter Doula Story
Emma L. Morgan-Bennett and Jennifer L. Morgan

The Beginning and the End
Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang

“The Evanesced: The Retrieval #99”
Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle


Born Ibeji
Cheryl Boyce-Taylor

I held a dream…
Marcie R. Rendon

Seema Reza

For Micah, My Neverborn
Mahtem Shiferraw

Shaina Phenix

Constant Kiss of Contractions
Mahogany L. Browne

Life Signs
Andrée Greene

Ode to Kale
Hope Wabuke


Questions for Mamas and Sons
Emily Raboteau asks Angie Cruz

When My Son Came to Me
Angie Cruz

[ I turn the hours into a love note to myself ]
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

Celeste Mendoza

Artist Statement VI
Laurie Ann Guerrero

How to Arrive
Ellen Hagan

On the Origins of O.
Nelly Rosario

All of Yourself
A Conversation between Aracelis girmay and Elizabeth Alexander

Motherhood Is a State of Hypervigilance
Simone White

Simone White

Vanessa Mártir

You May Drift
Mendi Obadike

Radical Intimacies
Marta Lucía Vargas


“Audre Lorde once told Joy Harjo that she imagined her poems being spoken to a circle of women gathered around a fire. In this book we find that gathering, a gathering of those of us who know our stories belong to each other. And the fire that calls us is the very fire of creation moving through us and changing us all. I recommend this book to everyone. Come for the warmth of communion, stay for the miracle of never being the same.” —Alexis Pauline Gumbs, co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines

So We Can Know is a striking anthology of essays, poetry, and visual art on the often-harrowing experience of pregnancy for women of color. The work as a whole is thick with grief and trauma, but the graceful reflections and breadth of experiences make sticking with it more than worthwhile. This one’s not to be missed.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Sometimes, rarely, something we read is a fulcrum of healing. I must thank aracelis girmay and every writer who contributed to So We Can Know. Maraming salamat - Terima kasih - Thank you, for the courage in these harsh times, when guns have more rights than women, to put words on your experiences. In the spaces between these lines of word medicine, I felt heard, I felt accepted, I felt loved.” —Ibu Robin Lim, Grandmother & Midwife

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