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2018 Pushcart Prize Nominations from Sinister Wisdom

Sinister Wisdom is pleased to nominate six pieces from the four issues of Sinister Wisdom published prior to December 1, 2018 for the 2018 Pushcart Prize.

The six pieces are:

“Weeds” by Kate Ellison
“Foreword” by Myriam Gurba
“Wind of Fury – Songs of Fury” by Oksana Vasyakina, Translated by Jonathan Brooks Platt
“Parable of the Sower” by Pamela Sneed
“Whole, and Nothing But” by Arisa White
“Seven Easy Questions” by Rosamond S. King

PDFs of the nominated pieces are available on the links for all to read. Congratulations to all of the writers!

Statement on the Cover Art for Sinister Wisdom 107: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution!

Recent dialogue about the cover photograph on Sinister Wisdom 107 provides an opportunity for us to articulate why we, co-editors, cover photographer, cover model, and editor and publisher of Sinister Wisdom 107, view this cover as revolutionary.
JP Howard, Editor of Sinister Wisdom 107: While readers may not be aware of the back story, this photograph was part of a larger photo shoot, specifically curated for this issue. This was one of numerous photographs that Amber and I considered. The cover photograph of black lesbian model, Amadi Agbomah, titled Liberation, was submitted for consideration, along with an artist statement by black lesbian photographer, Akinfe Fatou. Akinfe’s statement, submitted and viewed in conjunction with the photograph, immediately resonated with both of us. Akinfe’s artist statement reads “Black lesbians have always been at the forefront of change leading the charge for equality and redefining beauty standards and cultural norms. Liberation depicts afro expressionism, womanism and protest: a Black lesbian in full authority of her agency and her faculties fiercely proclaiming to the world... my divine body, my human rights, my conscious choice.” When Amber and I first saw “Liberation” and accompanying artist statement, we too saw a Black lesbian in full “authority of her agency” staring confidently at the lens and agreed that we needed to include this bold and visionary photograph.
Like the multiple and diverse genres of writing and unique artwork selected for inclusion in the journal, the cover photograph is a representation of the diversity of work produced by brilliant Black lesbian artists. Black lesbians are not a monolith, and our revolution takes on different shapes and dimensions for each of us. We, brilliant black lesbians, have a long-standing history of producing work that is both dynamic and thought provoking. Our cover art reflects and complements the bold, unflinching voices that line pages and pages of this issue. Liberation, as depicted and celebrated in this cover photo, pays homage to the statement by late Black lesbian poet and activist, Pat Parker, who once said “The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution.” I view this photograph as revolutionary and see it as functioning on multiple levels. It embraces our blackness, owns our lesbianism, celebrates our “afro expressionism” and ultimately, documents our strength and agency over our own black lesbian bodies. If that’s not REVOLUTIONARY, then what is!?

Amber Atiya, Editor of Sinister Wisdom 107: I was immediately drawn to this image titled Liberation, which challenges dark-skinned femme invisibility in LGBT/Black lesbian communities and within larger culture and media. When dark-skinned women are given air time, it's as mammies, nannies, best friends, desexualized entities, the butt of the joke, especially when played by Black male comedians in drag whose character (manly, awkward, unattractive) is almost always juxtaposed with a high femme, light-skinned love interest. Also, as I told JP, I've noticed over the years how a lot of dark-skinned Black women, especially women with fuller, thicker, rounder, wider features, are posed looking down or away from the camera—but not Amadi, who stares defiantly into the camera. This gives me so much life, and why can’t The Revolution reflect that? Why can't The Revolution be both body and sex-positive? Why, instead of finding a million things wrong with Liberation can't we see everything right and yesss about it?
Why not ask ourselves why this photo is called Liberation in the first place? Perhaps we as Black lesbians need a revolution of perspective, an ability to use a Black womanist and loving gaze to contemplate our bodies, our sexualities, to experience Liberation without being afraid of or intimidated by it, to know there is power and beauty and something greater than beauty there.

Akinfe Fatou: photographer, poet and provocateur: Issue 107 echoes the inspiration of our many Black lesbian heroines with its imaginative and transformative art and literary offerings. I've been so moved by the groundswell of support and praise for the cover. I am truly grateful that the work has been well received. Particularly, as a Black lesbian photographer in an industry dominated by white men.

The photograph was created in collaboration with model Amadi Agbomah and centers Black queer eloquence set as a powerful radical act of self love, defiance and fearlessness in a climate that seeks to control and strip Black lesbians of our autonomy and ability to make decisions concerning our bodies, reproductive and basic human rights.

The cover photograph speaks to and embodies the brilliant multidimensional work in issue 107, challenging the white gaze of Black lesbian bodies, conventional patriarchal norms and oppressive inequitable beauty standards. Black Lesbians: We Are The Revolution is a definitive proclamation holding brave space and drawing from the courage of its editors and contributors who are redefining the visual landscape and literary canon as we know it.

It embraces and lifts up the profundity of our complex identities, resilience, intelligence, creativity and sexuality, inspiring a fluid dialogue around perception, erasure, body shaming, and the ways in which Black queer women have been marginalized and silenced. Bringing to bare the haunting traumas, weaponization and misrepresentation that our bodies have endured. The pose of the model is a reclaiming of our magic, our spells, and our divinity, channeling our experiences in a way that harnesses and calls our power back to us.

We don't see Black lesbians featured enough in mainstream publications, cinema and television productions, on the cover of magazines, on stages, in board rooms, in front of and behind the camera. Representation is central to how we see and position ourselves in a society indifferent and/or in favor of violence against Black lesbians in America and around the world who face constant abuse, corrective rape and death. Issue 107 is a means of reframing, creating, and controlling our narratives and increasing the visibility of Black lesbians globally.

Amadi Agbomah, Model: Being a BLACK Queer Model means embracing the beauty of being Black. The struggle, the passion, the magic. Queerness is synonymous to being Black because I am intersectionality exemplified.

Julie R. Enszer, Editor and Publisher of Sinister Wisdom: The cover of Sinister Wisdom 107: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution! joins a long line of visually provocative covers that have featured lesbians of all races, ages, and sizes with ample nudity and presentations of unabashed sexuality. As the publisher of Sinister Wisdom, I was pleased to work with editors JP Howard and Amber Atiya to fulfill their vision for the issue, including the selection and presentation of the cover images. Rather than centering a white male gaze—or even a white female or lesbian gaze—the cover of Sinister Wisdom 107 centers a radical, Black lesbian gaze that challenges ideas that Black lesbians are only sexual or not sexual at all. The cover photograph, artfully staged and executed by Akinfe Fatou, brings a powerful young woman in control of her sexuality into view of a variety of lesbian audiences. The variety of reactions to this cover is a welcome joyful noise of thinking about and engaging with contemporary Black, lesbian, and feminist politics across generations. In short, the cover image—and the entire issue—contributes to the mission and work of Sinister Wisdom in the world.

Statement on the Cover Image of Sinister Wisdom 107
Love the cover? Order a copy of the full cover (with front and back images) in an 8.5" x 11" reprint, signed by the co-editors and photographer!
Just $8.25, including shipping, and suitable for framing!





2016 Pushcart Nominations from Sinister Wisdom

Sinister Wisdom is pleased to nominate six pieces from the four issues of Sinister Wisdom published prior to December 1, 2016 for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.

The six pieces are:

“Lulu’s Pleasure Palace” by Cherry Muhanji
“Animus” by Courtney Hartnett
“Womanworks at BK and Mary’s” by Lynette Yetter
“Outer Banks” by J.M. Latham
“BME II” by Imani Sims
“From A Year from Today” by Stacy Szymaszek

Congratulations to all of the writers! Fingers crossed that one or more will be selected for a Pushcart Prize this year!

2016 Awards from Rainbow Williams

HERE ARE THE 2016 AWARDS from rainbow williams
no cash just appreciation

Best Lesbian Feminist Quarterly. Sinister Wisdom
Best Lesbian cartoonist. Diane F Germaine
Best Activist. Alix Dobkin
Best Landdyke publication. MAIZE Jae Hazzard
Best Old Lesbian Newsletter OLOC REPORTER
Best Radical Newsletter. Rain and Thunder
Best National Newsletter. Lesbian Connection
Best Regional Newsletter C O E Jacksonville
Best Childrens Biography FAITH RINGGOLD. If A Bus Talked could
Best Art Guide SALLY WILLOWBEE, Found Artists South
Best Video ARDEN EVERSMEYER, Our Stories, Our Voices
Best Memorial Memoir BLUEBIRD Pink Hats for Wendy
Best Historical Novel. RONNI SANLO The Soldier, Avatar, Holocaust and The Holoc

Submit to Rain & Thunder!

Learn more about Rain & Thunder and support this sister publication!

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Bone Shackles Press

Broken Shackles Press, a non-profit community publishing house for marginalized voices of liberation, is pleased to announce a call for submissions with a tentative deadline of Dec 31st, 2015 for its inaugural year of titles in 2017.

Please visit http://brokenshacklespress.wordpress.com/ for detailed information about our philosophy, submissions process, community publishing model, and our founding members.

Email brokenshacklespress@gmail.com if you have any questions, want more information, or just want to make a friend.

We are a community publishing endeavor committed to bringing marginalized voices of liberation out into the world via the written word. We want to do this by working with and building a community of writers, readers, and organizers with lived experiences of oppression and struggles for social, political, economic, and environmental justice. We aim to publish and promote these books by working together, being invested in each other’s success as much as our own, and ultimately standing in solidarity with each other. Our aim is to bring out a number of such books annually in order to establish an ever-growing and evolving platform for marginalized voices of liberation who are ignored by mainstream publishing houses, large and small.

After a couple of trial runs with community publishing, negotiating multiple hurdles and humbling lessons along the way, we’re ready to open submissions for our inaugural set of titles planned for 2017. As already mentioned, the deadline for submissions is Dec 31st, 2015, and will be an annual, rolling deadline with Dec 31st of each year being the deadline for titles two years hence.

The number of titles depends on the number of submissions we get. We want to be flexible and open to different possibilities. We hope to have either quarterly or bi-monthly releases of titles depending on the number of submissions.

Please see the website for further details and forward this call for submissions far and wide.

Finally, as part of our launch and as a simple gesture of solidarity, we are pleased to say that a free e-book version (pdf/mobi/epub) of the debut novel written by one of our founding members will be made available to all who get in touch with us.

In the meantime, we wish you much peace, freedom, and happiness.

--
Broken Shackles Press

Oppression is defeated when marginalized voices of liberation are heard

Website: http://brokenshacklespress.wordpress.com/

Email: brokenshacklespress@gmail.com

Independent Best American Poetry Nominations

Sinister Wisdom is pleased to nominate three poems for the Independent Best American Poetry Award.
The three poems nominated are:
“Ese Pateria” Geny Cabral (from Sinister Wisdom 97)
“Juanita Does: One Night in Richmond” Cathy Arellano (from Sinister Wisdom 97)
“After Marriage” Tricia Asklar (from Sinister Wisdom 97)

Congratulations to Geny Cabral, Cathy Arellano and Tricia Asklar!

Thank you to Didi Menendez for initiating the project!

2015 Pushcart Prize Nominations from Sinister Wisdom

Sinister Wisdom is pleased to nominate six pieces from the four issues of Sinister Wisdom published prior to December 1, 2015 for the 2015 Pushcart Prize.

The six pieces are:

“Para la Kathy de Colusa” by Cherríe L. Moraga
“Sailing to Mytilene” by Diane Furtney
“My Mother’s Gifts” by Elana Dykewomon
“So That You Will Hear Me” by Bessy Reyna
“A Great Big Woman of Color Tent” by Merril Mushroom
“Metafiction” by Maureen Seaton

Congratulations to all of the writers! Fingers crossed that one or more will be selected for a Pushcart Prize this year!

PDFs of all of the nominations are here.

Voices de Queer Femmes--Call for Participants

Check out this unique opportunity for publication!

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS from Lesbian, Queer, and Trans Women of color who identify or present as FEMME!

BE LOUD AND PROUD Or quiet and demure but either way LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!!!!
You are invited to participate in an anthology of our voices, a space to express how you navigate life as a Lesbian, Trans or Queer Identified Femme!

This call for submissions will culminate in the printed publication of Voices de Queer Femmes.
We are open to *all types of submissions (including original visual art, poetry, song lyrics, and mixed media)*, but we're particularly interested in poetry, personal narratives/essays, creative non-fiction, and social commentary submissions. If you are submitting art work or photographs please ensure a high resolution scan, if you need assistance with scanning we can help you.

Please feel free to submit work that might need a little work. Experienced editors are available to work with you if you are committed to a piece but feel it is not quite ready for publication.

Deadline for Submissions is December 31st, 2015

Submission Guidelines:

Opinion pieces/social commentary: 500-700 words
Personal essays: 700-1400 words
Poetry: 3 poems or no more than 1000 words
Photography: At least 3 images emailed in high resolution jpeg, pdf, or png files
Submissions should be in Microsoft Word, one-inch margins

Send your submission to femmeliterati@gmail.com with the subject line as follows:
Voices de Queer Femmes submission - [First Initial]. [Last Name]

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Sinister Wisdom Fall Events

This fall is chock full of events celebrating recent issues of Sinister Wisdom and featuring amazing lesbian writers, poets, artists and activists. Please join us for an event in your community and help spread the word!


Friday, 11 September 2015 at 7:30 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 98: Southern Landykes at Charis Books and More in Atlanta, GA. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Friday, 11 September 2015 at 7:00 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 98: Southern Landykes at The CMC, next to Wild Iris Books, at 22 SE 5th Ave., (352) 375-7477.
Saturday, 12 September 2015 at 6 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, CA. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Sinister Wisdom editor and publisher Julie R. Enszer will read at the Hobart Women's Book Festival on Sunday, September 13th at 12 noon. If you are in or around Hobart, NY, please come by and say hi to Julie--and join the whole book festival which looks incredible.

Thursday, 8 October 2015 at  7 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians at Bluestockings in New York City. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Friday, 9 October 2015 at 7:30 p.m., Elana Dykewomon reading at The White Rose, 284 High Street, Holyoke, MA. Join Elana to hear poems from What Can I Ask: New and Collected Poems 1975-2014 (Sinister Wisdom 96). More information--and RSVP--available here.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 at 8 p.m., Elana Dykewomon reading a Womencrafts in Provincetown, MA. Elana will read from What Can I Ask: New and Collected Poems 1975-2014 (Sinister Wisdom 96) during Provincetown Women's Week. Make your plans to be there today. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Want to hold an event in your community? Organize one! Sinister Wisdom editor and publisher Julie R. Enszer is happy to work with you!

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"Empowerment comes from ideas."

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"Your silence will not protect you."

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"Live your lives, honorably and with dignity."

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