Vanessa Herman

Vanessa Herman
Crushed Velvet: 

(Venus Envy and Her Placement and Displacement.)

The poems I will be presenting are of a playful and provocative nature. They ask questions and make statements and they leave the listener thinking deeply and even laughing when identifying. My poems have been called intensely visual and rich. The emphasis is on women in society and the impact of society on women. One of my poems which is like an anthem is called Aint I a Woman and speaks to how our bodies are used to sell cars, etc. Another poem Two girls dancing in the Rain speaks to a real life killing of two young girls who literally were killed for dancing and laughing in the rain in India. I detail the place and date as I read the poem. Another poem is an on-line dating profile poem which is humorous but telling. I have a poem entitled Fuck – which talks of all the “fucks” you can allow yourself to be to a man who wants to use you as such but in this poem at the end the writer says No. 

Vanessa Herman was born and raised in Cape Town and has lived in Johannesburg, Israel, California and New York City. She began writing poetry at age thirteen and has never stopped. Vanessa had two poems published in Like A House on Fire- Contemporary Women’s Writing, Art and Photography published by Congress of South African Writers (C.O.S.A.W.) in 1994. In 2001 she won The Goodman Short Story Award for, Death in Three Languages, and The Riggs Gold Medal Award an auto-biographical essay, Surviving Chicken Soup and Other Things Yellow at C.C.U.N.Y. City College University of New York while in the English Honours Programme. She had a poem published in 2001 in City College of New York’s annual poetry collection- called Poetry in Performance and in the same year was elected to be a judge on the City College panel for The Annual New York City High School Poetry Contest. She has had a short flash fiction story called Treasure, published in Women Flashing -A collection of Flash Fiction from Women’s Writing Workshops in a book published in 2005 and an essay published in Breaking the Silence- Journeys to Recovery by POWA Women’s Writing Competition in 2008. In February 2009 her poem Crushed Velvet was published on the on-line creative magazine Itch. In 2009 she was also a guest poet for A Women’s Jam in Johannesburg 

In September 2010 her poem Waiting was also published on-line for Itch magazine.

She completed a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at Wits University in 2012. In 2014 she was chosen out of sixty-seven writers (Nationally and Internationally) to co-write a feature film: While You Weren’t Looking produced by Out In Africa.