I want to acknowledge that the topics mentioned may be triggering. This is a content warning as the following information relates to a convicted pedophile and CSA.
I also acknowledge that people may feel differently about Poetry Magazine’s actions, so I’m disabling comments on this post. Whether you agree or disagree with the actions taken by the journal, this is a precaution I’m taking as I’d rather not have any arguments here.
Poetry Magazine published an issue regarding freedom–all pieces written by people who were or are currently in incarceration. One such author is Kirk Nesset, a former professor at the Pennsylvanian liberal arts college Allegheny College, who possessed, watched, and distributed child pornography.
Nesset was sentenced to over six years in federal prison in early 2016.
From the Allegheny Campus themselves, they reported the following information from the Meadville Tribune: “The FBI and Pennsylvania State Police searched Nesset’s Meadville residence and found over half a million images of child pornography, child erotica and child modeling on his computer… These images included the rape of infants as well as the sexual abuse of older children.”
Nesset’s writing was published in a prison writing issue by Poetry Magazine and there currently is an ongoing petition to support the removal of his work started by Melanie Graham. I support (and signed) this petition and I urge you to as well. I take this personally as I have family that are survivors and it breaks my heart into a million little pieces to see a platform for a convicted pedophile. I can only imagine the horrors and trauma the victims and their families must be experiencing.
I understand if you think differently that we should perhaps support the work rather than the writer of the work. However, I think we would be supporting a voice that shouldn’t have the chance to speak over the ones that were hurt and traumatized from Nesset and his actions. We should not give or allow a space for a convicted pedophile especially as it will not only hurt those who experienced CSA and abuse, but as well the victims of Nesset’s actions.
I hope you could at least take into consideration of what I said and if you support Nesset’s work being removed from Poetry Magazine, please sign your name onto the petition. It needs up to 2,500 signatures. Your name will not be made public if you select that option not to.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope all is well with you.