Breaking the Silence in Stillhouse Press’s How to Bury a Boy at Sea 

by Alex Horn

Breaking the Silence in Stillhouse Press’s How to Bury a Boy at Sea 

Phil Goldstein hid his trauma for almost twenty years.  A survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of his older brother, Phil did what most male victims do -- he locked his past away from the world. Today, Phil can celebrate the end of that long-held silence through the release of his debut volume of poetry, How to Bury a Boy at Sea published by Stillhouse Press in April of 2022This arresting collection renders the complexities unique to male survivors of sexual abuse with clarity and bravery, a critical and too-often ignored storyline.  

For Phil, the process was one of catharsis. For Rose Strode, a poetry MFA candidate at Mason and editor of How to Bury a Boy at Sea, taking on this project was a unique opportunity. “There aren’t a lot of books of poetry written from the perspective of a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse, so in terms of the subject matter it is both unique and daring. But even more daring is that Phil sees the full humanity of all the characters in this narrative, including the parents who denied the abuse, and his older brother.” 

Working on the collection was also an excellent source of insight into Rose’s own work as a poet. “Helping Phil revise his poems and create an effective narrative arc made me better understand how to do the same for my own work. Working with a client helped me attain a layer of objectivity that has improved how I approach my own writing.” 

Stillhouse Press is thrilled to be able to lift critical new voices like Phil’s into the wider literary world. As a teaching press, Stillhouse works to demystify the publishing industry and to provide educational and professional-development opportunities through applied experience in craft publishing.