My Statement March 7, 2016

It is necessary and important that I offer a response to the mounting allegations against my former mentor and former collaborator, Thomas Sayers Ellis. The fact that I have not shared in these experiences, does not negate the reality of them nor the suffering of those involved. I feel that suffering, acutely.

I have to keep my reactions in check, I need to understand how my past experiences heighten or deaden my response to abuse allegations involving people I care for. I am not a reliable meter— I have seen too much, I have been hit too many times, and I have been too terrorized to have an even-keeled reaction.  Because of this, I know when it is best to step back and only be a source of support to those who might benefit from it. I would also like to understand the truth, both subjective and objective.

I have been working closely with my press throughout this time, to ensure that we are aware and responsible. I am grateful to Carmen Gimenez Smith and the Noemi Family for their support and unyielding dedication to the most vulnerable in our literary community. They understand, as I do, that when it comes to literature, there is more at stake than book sales.

For now, I only hope that I may deal with people individually and be a conduit for healthy interactions, healing, and some sort of good. I hope that my relationships are person-to-person and in that, private. I hope the way I interact with the larger portion, or even the whole, is with objectivity and compassion. And I hope that my lived experiences may be a help and not a hindrance in my understanding of the human condition. We are all coming from somewhere, coming out of something, and headed toward an infinity of possibilities.

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