The chapbook is available now from Game Over Books.
The poems in this collection, written over the span of about 7 years, examine the patriarchal baggage of Christianity through the lens of relationship – relationship to women characters in the Bible, relationship to Jesus, and relationship to the self.
What people are saying about Woman as Communion:
“Megan McDermott’s Woman as Communion extends the tradition of poetic reading & exegesis of sacred texts through a range of tones: sensual, irreverent, searching, awe-struck, and queer-feminist critique. The poems emerge out of a deeply sympathetic imagining of the human characters, and the impossible circumstances through which the Divine reveals its own story: “the mess / of Mother and Messiah,” and through these acts of sympathy the poems open out as expressions of eros, questioning, rebuke, pastoral care, and communion within the questing life of faith.”
—Jeffrey Pethybridge, author of Striven, the Bright Treatise and director of Summer Writing Program at Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics
“Woman as Communion is a powerful collection of poetry that gives voice to women of scripture, and ultimately reimagines the relationship between the self and faith. Megan McDermott fills these pages with relatable emotional moments, such as in the poem “To Adam,” when Eve remembers when they “[stayed] up all night talking, / bright with the hope exclusive to those / who don’t yet know the need for it.” Every poem in this book is superbly crafted and exhilarating to read—the conclusion of each one manages to land with both feet planted squarely in the part of me that yearns for meaning. I found myself returning to these poems again and again.”
—Catherine Weiss, author of Wolf Girls vs. Horse Girls
“McDermott’s poems are feisty and strange, smart and soulful. Woman as Communion pushes against centuries of theology dominated by patriarchy and androcentrism–with a contemporary bite. Here’s David as captain of the football team who doesn’t heed Bathsheba’s no. Here’s Christ as woman, as same-gender partner, curled around her lover. For anyone who’s absorbed Bible stories and felt diminished or harmed by the gaps, silences, erasures, these poems are for you. McDermott’s work is both balm and blessing: enter and welcome.”
—Dayna Patterson, author of If Mother Braids a Waterfall
“….[this book] does a great deal to render back to us the symbol of woman, not in some pedestaled form, ‘smooth / and shut in the places where / another woman might tear’ (‘Divine C-Section’), but in the full figure of real, human life—messy, brutal, and fractured, but also beautiful, triumphant, and blessed. And because of this, it gives us back the symbol of woman not as a point of entry to some delimited facet of God as the ‘divine feminine’ or to some particular mask that deity might wear as ‘the goddess,’ but to the experience of the numinous in its divinely simple totality—the force that would knock us from our feet and sweep us clear of the tabernacle if someone did not teach us to see that there is more than one place where the tablets God has engraved on every human heart might be laid.
You can read this wonderful little book at your synagogue, in your mosque, or on the corner of Main Street—anywhere you might (perhaps for the first time) see the face of a woman, hear her story (even if it’s your own), and talk to God.”
—Reyzl Grace, in a book review published in Psaltery & Lyre
Some of the poems you’ll find in the book:
“Double Portion” at The Night Heron Barks
“To Adam” at Earth & Altar
“Some obscure fact” at The Christian Century
“Concerning Her Killing of Sisera” at LETTERS (on p. 12)