Poet Presents their Progress at “Nevertheless, We Persist”

Body Shot’s 14th annual performance “Nevertheless, We Persist” continued the legacy of performances dedicated to celebrating all aspects of gender, sexuality, and femininity. Each year, students, staff and facility perform and present acts dealing with addiction, gender, assault and censorship.  

This year’s performance had something for everyone: poetry, music, dance and essays all about persistence.  

Mars Brown, a freshman psychology major, presented four poems about life after sexual assault. Brown found out about the performance from the director of the event during a class. 

 “I found out about it from Hillary Brewster,” Brown said, “when she came into my Woman’s Study class. I looked into the program and really like it. I’d been writing for a while and decided to send in a collection of poems I wrote.”  

After a couple of days Brown submitted four poems titled “Untitled,” “Oscar,” “Taste” and “The Second Coming” inspired by their assault.  

Another poet, Ezra Mars, “gave a presentation about being a trans man, and his poetry was like, very vulgar,” according to Brown.  

“I think I take a lot of inspiration from him,” Brown said.  

Before Brown went on stage, they messaged Mars saying, “I don’t even know if you’ll see this. But your work has really inspired me, and this will be my first time publicly reading my work. And I just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration.”  

While describing the poems’ creation, Brown said, “Originally it was just going to be ‘Oscar,’ ‘Taste’ and ‘Untitled…’ They’re kind of-They’re like a little trilogy in my brain personally, especially ‘Taste’ and ‘The Second Coming.’”  

Each poem talks about the different feelings Brown had during their recovery process. “‘Oscar’ was the one I worked on most,” Brown said. “It’s really long. It’s a whole innuendo of putting the assault into a kind of celebrity drama show.”  

“Taste” was inspired by the anger they felt when they were still processing.  

“I truly love ‘Taste,’” Brown said. “It’s like-It feels like the full culmination of what I want in my writing. It was written at the point of my processing, whereas I’m very, very angry about it.”