What God Is Honored Here?

Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color

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Shannon Gibney
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Kao Kalia Yang

What God Is Honored Here? is the first book of its kind—and urgently necessary. This is a literary collection of voices of Indigenous women and women of color who have undergone miscarriage and infant loss, experiences that disproportionately affect women who have often been cast toward the margins in the United States of America.

From the story of dashed cultural expectations in an interracial marriage to poems that speak of loss across generations, from harrowing accounts of misdiagnoses, ectopic pregnancies, and late-term stillbirths to the poignant chronicles of miscarriages and mysterious infant deaths, What God Is Honored Here? brings women together to speak to one another about the traumas and tragedies of womanhood. In its heartbreaking beauty, this book offers an integral perspective on how culture and religion, spirit and body, unite in the reproductive lives of women of color and Indigenous women as they bear witness to loss, search for what is not there, and claim for themselves and others their fundamental humanity. Powerfully and with brutal honesty, they write about what it means to reclaim life in the face of death.

Editors Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang acknowledge “who we had been could not have prepared us for who we would become in the wake of these words,” yet the writings collected here offer insight, comfort, and, finally, hope for all those who, like the women gathered here, have found grief a lonely place.

Background photo by Dominik Dombrowski on Unsplash

“There's a life that the page gives”: Writings on
Miscarriage and Infant Loss

Metadata

  • rights
    Lucille Clifton, “the lost baby poem” from The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright 1987 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

    Excerpt from “The Afterbirth, 1931,” by Nikky Finney, from Rice: Poems (Evanston: TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2013), 65–71. Copyright 2013 by Nikky Finney. This edition published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press by arrangement with Nikky Finney. All rights reserved.

    Copyright 2019 by Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang
  • publisher
    University of Minnesota Press
  • publisher place
    Minneapolis, MN
  • restrictions
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
  • rights holder
    Individual essays and poems copyright 2019 by their respective authors