Friday, March 16, 2018
23andMe Says My Body Is A Sanctuary City, by Jen Karetnick
Jen Karetnick has published seven poetry collections, including American
Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016), long-listed for the 2017
Julie Suk Award and the 2017 Lascaux Prize, and The Treasures That Prevail
(Whitepoint Press, September 2016), finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of
Virginia Book Award. She co-directs the reading series, SWWIM (Supporting
Women Writers in Miami).
About the poem:
This poem is about the DNA/mitochondria tracing of Ashkenazi Jews, who if you go
back far enough have many similarities to other reviled ethnic groups. The subtext
is that while certain traits may or may not reveal themselves in any given person,
the intergenerational trauma of always being “othered” and exiled is what’s truly
passed down. I wrote it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when #45’s
administration failed to mention anything regarding Jews in its cursory address
about the day.