Joy Ladin


Earth is an it
An it and a she
A she and an it
It like me

Earth has no womb no monthly bleeds
Has never kept house for patriarchy
Isn't really much of a she
She is an it—an it like me

Fellow it, let's make a we
A publicly secret society
Of its whose she-ness
Is hard to see

Is basalt magma
And molten sea
Its who are worlds
Its like me

Joy Ladin is the author of seven books of poetry, including Lambda Literary Award finalists Impersonation and Transmigration, and Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life, was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her work has appeared in many periodicals, including American Poetry Review, Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and North American Review, and has been recognized with a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship. She has spoken about gender identity issues around the country. She holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University, and has also taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). Links to her poems and essays are available at

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