ALTER//ALTAR: A Playlist of Longing by Dena Igusti

Today is the release of my book, Cut Woman. The book not only touches on what it means to be an Indonesian Muslim survivor of FGM but also my personal documentation of the ongoing list of those I’ve lost.

In┬áCut Woman alone, there are over 230,483 deaths mentioned directly or indirectly. 15 documented (emphasis on documented) deaths of Muslims in the U.S. since 2001 (again emphasis on documented. I know more have been lost). 230,000 from the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia that was parodied into a song. Over 563 from the earthquake in Lombok in 2018 that was undermined due to western media’s attention towards white tourists. A version of me that could have been. A version of my father that could have been. My grandmother. My friends, family members, and even my first boyfriend.

During the writing of the first draft of Cut Woman, three people I loved died. During the time between the acceptance of my book until its release, four more perished. Cut Woman is my requiem for all of them, including myself. I don’t know how long I’ll sing for them but I’ll do it anyway.

The following songs are of my love and mourning, how my love is always a form of mourning, and in turn, my mourning is a form of love.


You can purchase a copy of Dena Igusti’s Cut Woman here.

New Grit: 10 Vivid Songs Released in 2018 That’ll Take You Away

You can check out the full playlist on Spotify.

Madeline Lessing is a poet, songwriter, and DIY scene-baby based in Boston, Massachusetts.


Moon Shift:A Pisces to Aries Playlist| Madeline Lessing

moon shift: a playlist in celebration of the moon shifting from Pisces to Aries, the month from July to August, and our emotions from meditative to motivated. these songs are to remind you that feeling intensely is important and powerful, especially when you express it out loud.


Madeline Lessing is a poet, songwriter, and DIY scene-baby based in Boston, Massachusetts.