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Writers on the US Election 2016: Christina Thatcher

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Writers on the US Election 2016: Christina Thatcher

Everything about this election is knotted up in the pit of my stomach. Over the last few months, I have watched the presidential debates in quiet, British pubs on my iPad as I travel for my PhD. I’ve read campaign websites on trains, listened to podcasts on buses, texted friends from grey hotel rooms – How many Trump signs are in your neighbourhood? I’ve felt alone and afraid and deeply, deeply sad. 

Today the knot is tighter than ever and I’m finding it difficult to articulate all the reasons why. So, instead I will write a not-so-poetic list which I hope will shed light on how this election has made me feel, as an American living abroad. 

 

I find it hard to accept

 

that Trump has made it this far

that Americans would even want to build a wall

that being ‘great again’ is never properly defined  

that a man can say he wants to grab a woman by the pussy and still win States

that people are voting against their interests

that Americans feel they must choose between the lesser of two evils

that Hilary might not win

that many Americans are desperate and unhappy 

that the already great things about America might change

that either outcome could be bad for women

that my Aunt texts me to say she has to move to Europe 

that I believe in democracy but hope my family will not vote because they’ll vote for him

that the Obamas will leave the White House

that no matter who wins the States will not be united

that Americans don’t feel listened to 

that the sides are attacking each other

that I cannot change any of this

 

 

Christina Thatcher is a PhD student and postgraduate tutor at Cardiff University where she studies how creative writing can impact the lives of people bereaved by addiction. Thatcher keeps busy off campus too by delivering creative writing workshops across south Wales, running projects for organisations including Making Minds and the Welsh Writers Trust and coordinating literature events for the Made in Roath Festival. 

Her poetry and short stories have featured in a number of publications including The London MagazinePlanet Magazine, Acumen, Cheval and The Interpreter’s House. She came second place in the Terry Hetherington Young Writer’s Award 2016 and edited the anthology How to Exit a Burning Building (Parthian, 2015) for the latest Robin Reeves Prize. More than you were, was shortlisted in Bare Fiction's 2015 Debut Poetry Collection Competition, and is out through Parthian in May 2017. 

To learn more about Christina’s work please visit her blog: https://collectingwords.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter: @writetoempower.


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