Your Guide to a Smart and Not-Appropriative Halloween Costume

I’m re-sharing my “Halloween Savvy” tips in Quail Bell Magazine for coming up with a smart costume and not appropriating the shit out of marginalized cultures like Natives and Roma (or “Gypsies,” the racial slur we’re more commonly known by). Skip the Pocahottie mini-dress and Sexy Gypsy blouse and skirt, and put together something clever, which really is a much sexier way to play it after all. If you ever wondered why appropriative or exoticizing costumes matter, I also touch on that with some fascinating/upsetting history about the “sexy” stereotypes. Plus, I’ve got some ideas for if you want to dress up like a badass character or real person who isn’t of your race but you’re not sure how to proceed.

In the featured image is is my last costume, Little Red Riding Hood Who Killed the Wolf Herself. Taking an empowering, dark, or funny spin on a beloved folk story is always interesting and innovative, and it doesn’t hurt anyone or reinforce racist stereotypes. It’s just pure fun.

This year, I’m going to be a punk-rock unicorn, which is my take on Audre Lorde’s book, The Black Unicorn. Lorde is one of my favorite poets, and a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” It should go without saying that it would be crazy offensive and downright weird to try to make my skin darker to become Lorde. It’s much cooler to have my costume embody what I love about her– her writing. My dressed-in-black unicorn will also have a touch of Stormy’s horse Skydancer thrown in from Rainbow Brite because damn I loved her sassy thunder and lightning spitting hooves! I think Audre Lorde would be into that too.

Click here to read my article

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Trauma poetry in Luna Luna Magazine

I’ve been honored to have three poems about childhood sexual trauma appear in Luna Luna Magazine, a favorite ezine of mine (and sister publication to Quail Bell Magazine). These poems are the first to be published from a series on trauma that I’ve been working on for many years. I’m putting together the manuscript alongside the novel I’m working on about Coco, a half-Romani (Gypsy) dancer and fortune teller at a Parisian circus who becomes a Nazi hunter. Coincidentally, the novel will contain a few poems. I’m so motivated to finish both projects within the next year. A large part of that is due to the warm reception that these poems have gotten– I couldn’t be more grateful or more touched. Many thanks. And a big thank you to Lisa A. Flowers, founder of Vulgar Marsala Press and author of diotomhero, who solicited me. I also got a lot of good advice about writing trauma poetry from Erin Belieu, Florida State University professor and co-founder of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and I so appreciate her help and encouragement. Check out Erin’s latest book Slant Six, and its starred review in Publisher’s Weekly.

You may know Luna Luna for their powerful feminist content, their fierce leader Lisa Marie Basile (Apocryphal), their cutting edge poetry and fiction, and their articles and features on alternative spirituality, the occult, and beautiful cultural practices from all over the world. One of my new favorite things is their Poescopes, that is, poetic horoscopes by Fox Foley-Frazier (Exodus in X Minor), curator of The Infoxicated Corner of The The Poetry Blog. P.S. I have some poems about Romani rights and mythology in the Infoxicated Corner as part of the Political Punch series. 

So here’s the link for “In the Oven,” “Night and Night,” “Gulls Calling Over Corcaigh” in Luna Luna Magazinehttp://lunalunamag.com/2014/11/03/poems-jessica-reidy/

Thank you for reading, readers. I feel fearsome and strong, and I’m writing like a demon. I was a demon for Halloween, by the way.

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Click the demon to read the poems, I dare you.