Bio / Resisting Palindromes
Annah Anti-Palindrome is a queer musician/Optical Sound-Smith, writer, & hard-femme JewWitch hailing from the gorgeous country-trash craters at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Annah performs using a variety of different mediums including a Line 6 (DL4) looping system, kitchen utensils, gas-masks, raw eggs, blood pressure cuffs, found objects, her body (mostly her throat), and more!
Annah has an MFA degree in Poetry (with an unofficial minor in SoundArt) from Mills College. Her first book of poems, DNA Hymn, was released in October 2016 through Sibling Rivalry Press. Annah is a Lambda Literary Fellow and former writer for Everyday Feminism Magazine. You can access her articles through the "Syntactical Terrorism" link at the top of the page, and buy her book fromby clicking the "Buy Book" icon at the top left of this page.
Palindrome: a word, number, sentence, verse, or double-stranded sequence of DNA that reads the same backward and forward (ex: Anna, see bees, see bees Anna.) The term is derived from the Greek root palin dromo, which means "running back again," "a recurrence," or "a revolving cycle."
My mother died in 2007 from a morphine overdose, at which point I changed the spelling of my name from Anna, to Annah. This was a cathartic shift for me-- a shift which symbolically allowed me to resist the life of being a Palindrome.
We often reproduce the violent legacies that have been transmitted to us through the unspoken & overarching narratives of our childhoods. While the patterns we learn may define us, we are also defined by our processes of unpacking, analyzing and defying those legacies as well. The concept of Resisting Palindromes has held space for me to challenge the stagnancy I associate with identifying by a given-name I no longer relate to (as I have transformed in drastic ways since it was first assigned to me), and it also reminds me of the commitment I've made to myself, to consciously resist participating in the destructive patterns I've learned over time.
If a palindromic name exists as a constrained series of vowels and consonants that preserve an identity via a repetitious, backward/forward pattern, the only way I've found to disrupt this cycle and challenge my assumed predisposition, is to add another letter. anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna anna(h) annah.
So to those of you who've so curiously asked over the years, "Why resist palindromes?" please know that it is not a request of those around me, but more a personal vendetta neatly folded up into a mouthful: a daily hymn meant to preserve my integrity. To keep me Inhabited.