Stanley’s Girl

Stanley’s Girl

Poems

The fiercely lyrical poetry of Stanley’s Girl is rooted in Susan Eisenberg’s experience as one of the first women to enter the construction industry and from her decades gathering accounts of others to give scaffolding to that history. Eisenberg charts her own induction into the construction workplace culture and how tradeswomen from across the country grappled with what was required to become a team player and succeed in a dangerous workplace where women were unwelcome. The specifics of construction become metaphor as she explores resonances in other spheres—from family to other social and political issues—where violence, or its threat, maintains order. Prying open memory, her poems investigate how systems of discrimination, domination, and exclusion are maintained and how individuals and institutions accommodate to injustice and its agreed-on lies, including her own collusion. Poems in this collection probe workplace-linked suicide, sexual assault, and sometimes-fatal intentional accidents, as well as the role of bystander silence and the responsibility of witness.