Julie's blog

Sinister Wisdom Nominations for the Pushcart Prize

The Pushcart Prize is one of the most honored literary anthologies in the United States. Publishing since 1976, the Pushcart Prize recognizes the best work of small presses.

Sinister Wisdom is pleased to nominate six pieces from the three issues of Sinister Wisdom published prior to December 1, 2013 for the 2013 Pushcart Prize. The six pieces are:

“Crime Against Nature” Minnie Bruce Pratt
“Icarus, A Woman” T’ai Freedom Ford
“Blood: A Prose Poem” Dominika Bednarska
“The Hungry Girls of America” Tara Shea Burke
“Scour” Ellen Orleans
“Thirsting” Diane Solis

Congratulations to all of these wonderful writers! Sinister Wisdom is proud to have published your work and to nominate it for this honor.

New Issue of TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism

Monica Casper writes: I'm so pleased to announce the launch of Issue #15 of TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism:


This gorgeous Issue --“Animal Instincts"-- guest edited by Lisa Jean Moore and Breanne Fahs, is a Call to the Wild. It’s a call to feminists to embrace our animality, our interconnections, and our species fluidity. All of the work here — prose poetry, fiction, visual art, essays -- explores our relationship to non-human animals and the “natural,” pushing feminism beyond the “eco” into the intimate lives of animals and women — exploring the ways these lives meet, cross each other, and co-exist. From jellyfish to hawks to coyotes to bears, “Animal Instincts” explores who “we” are, and what feminism is, in relation to our non-human kin.

The issue is sure to be of interest to folks working in feminist theory, the "new" materialism, critical animal studies, feminist philosophy, environmental ethics, and many other fields.

For more information about TRIVIA, visit: http://www.triviavoices.com/

You can also like our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trivia-Voices-of-Feminism/274143499756

Sinister Wisdom Newsletter - October 2013

Dear Friends and Fans of Sinister Wisdom,

What a great year it has been for Sinister Wisdom! We published three issues of Sinister Wisdom, and are planning, with your support, to publish four (4!) issues in 2014, returning the journal to a quarterly publication.

To continue to grow Sinister Wisdom and have it be a vital part of lesbian communities, I need your help and support. The usual refrain I hear when I talk with lesbians about Sinister Wisdom is, wow, is Sinister Wisdom still publishing? Indeed! Sinister Wisdom is still publishing and has been publishing strong since 1976. You know our work because you are a current or former subscriber, a contributor, or just a good friend of the journal. We need you to continue to support Sinister Wisdom and tell others about us.

Below is a full update on all of the activities of Sinister Wisdom this year, but if you don't read all the way to the end, would you please consider making a contribution to Sinister Wisdom to support our fall fundraising campaign? We need to raise $3,000 to make our publishing dreams possible for 2014. Your support today makes a different. Go here and give generously: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sinister-wisdom-2014

Then tell your friends!

And let me know what you think of the video - it was one of my very first attempts.

In case you missed it, please make a gift to Sinister Wisdom at our fall fundraising campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sinister-wisdom-2014
Any amount helps and means so much to me.

Tell your friends to subscribe and to support us. Here are all of the great reasons why:

Sinister Wisdom 88: Crime Against Nature by Minnie Bruce Pratt

In March 2013, Sinister Wisdom, in conjunction with A Midsummer Night's Press, published a new edition of Minnie Bruce Pratt's Crime Against Nature as the first book in our Sapphic Classics series. The new edition of Crime Against Nature featured an introduction by Julie R. Enszer, a new afterword by Pratt, a reprint of Pratt’s speech at the Lamont award ceremony, photographs of Pratt and her family, and a bibliography. Crime Against Nature was the 1989 Lamont Poetry Selection from the Academy of American Poets, which recognizes a poet’s second collection of poetry, and had been long out of print, until Sinister Wisdom intervened, bringing Crime Against Nature back to print for lesbians of all ages to discover, re-discover, read, re-read, savor, and enjoy.

Missed getting a copy of Sinister Wisdom 88: Crime Against Nature? Perhaps your subscription lapsed? You can renew your subscription quickly and easily online here: http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/subscribe

You can order a copy of Sinister Wisdom 88: Crime Against Nature here: http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/crimeagainstnature

Sinister Wisdom 89: Once and Later

In July 2013, Sinister Wisdom 89: Once and Later mailed to subscribers. Lesbians raved about it. Sinister Wisdom 89 featured our shiny new design for the journal, excellent new poetry and fiction from lesbian writers, an interview with Joan Larkin, a profile of lesbian activist June Arnold by her daughters, an interview with filmmaker Catherine Crouch, and a remembrance of Julia Penelope by Merril Mushroom. And more!

Did you miss Sinister Wisdom 89: Once and Later? Pick up a copy here: http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/sw89
and be sure to renew your submission! http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/subscribe

Sinister Wisdom 90: Catch, Quench

This issue just went in the mail to subscribers - you may not even have it in your hot hands. Let me tell you though, it packs a punch with speculative fiction by Susan Levinkind, memoir by Ellen Orleans, poetry by Diane Solis, Cara Armstrong, Tara Shea Burke, and more, and a deeply moving tribute to Sinister Wisdom founding editor and publisher, Catherine Nicholson.

You'll want to read this issue and share it with your friends! Order a single copy here (though these are extremely limited - so don't dilly-dally): http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/sw90

And subscriptions are still available here: http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/subscribe

Wow! That was a lot for 2013! What's up for 2014?

Sinister Wisdom will publish our second Sapphic Classic: Living as a Lesbian by Cheryl Clarke. Clarke's Living as a Lesbian will be Sinister Wisdom 91 and it will go in the mail to subscribers the first week of January 2014.

Sinister Wisdom will publish three more issues of Sinister Wisdom in 2014, including a special issue on Lesbians Health Care Workers, edited by Elizabeth Hansen, and an issue on Southern Lesbian-Feminist Herstory, put together by a fabulous group of women from WomonWrites with organizers Rose Norman and Merril Mushroom prodding the group along. We have other great special issues in the works: Joan Nestle and Yasmin Tambiah are working on an issue titled Lesbians and Exile and Nívea Castro is editing an issue titled Out Latina Lesbians. I also have a full open issue that I am putting the finishing touches on as well. Our publishing keeps getting better - more meaningful, more provocative, more insightful, more beautiful, and more often!

And beyond 2014? Are you even thinking bigger?

How did you guess? A great Sapphic Classic for 2015 in the works and WomonWrites is putting together a special issue on Land Dykes. I'm also eyeing the 100th issue of Sinister Wisdom which will be published in the spring of 2016.

To do all of these great things, we need your continued support. First, be sure your subscription to Sinister Wisdom is up to date and paid in full. Second, think about making an extra gift to our fall fundraising campaign to support the important work of Sinister Wisdom. You can make a gift here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sinister-wisdom-2014

Fall Fundraising Campaign

I work for Sinister Wisdom for free because I love it--and I believe in building and promoting lesbian literature and culture. The printer and the mail shop, however, need to be paid with US currency. Sinister Wisdom has a core of subscribers, but subscriber contributions don't cover the full expenses of producing three print issues of the journal each year. So we turn to the community to support Sinister Wisdom. Our goal is to raise $3,000 between now and November 30th to support Sinister Wisdom's work in 2014. Your contributions will help us do a number of things over the next year:
Publish our next Sapphic Classic, Living as a Lesbian by Cheryl Clarke in January 2014.
Produce three additional issues of Sinister Wisdom in 2014.
Participate in at least two and possibly three writer conventions and publisher showcases around the United States.
Give free subscriptions of Sinister Wisdom to women in prison, women with limited incomes, and women in mental institutions.
Most importantly, your gift to Sinister Wisdom helps to ensure that Sinister Wisdom continues to be an important part of the lesbian community. Sinister Wisdom is a multicultural lesbian literary and arts journal. We've been publishing since 1976 through the generosity of women like you.

Sinister Wisdom needs to raise $3,000 to support our work in 2014. Click here to contribute: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sinister-wisdom-2014

Please share this campaign with your friends, especially people who might not know about Sinister Wisdom (or not know that we are still publishing!). We need to build our base of subscribers and supporters to continue the important work of Sinister Wisdom.

Sinister Wisdom Blog--special note for Contributors, Friends, and Supporters of Sinister Wisdom

We'd love to have updates from contributors for the Sinister Wisdom blog (www.SinisterWisdom.org/blog). Published a book of interest to lesbians? Contributed to an anthology? Reading in your local community? Launching a new project? Sinister Wisdom is happy to post news and information about folks in the Sinister Wisdom community. Send the announcement (preferably in a format that can be easily cut and paste) to sinisterwisdom@gmail.com. I will post it and send you a link as soon as we can.

How to Help Sinister Wisdom

There are lots of ways that you can be involved and support Sinister Wisdom. Here are a few simple ideas:
Sell Sinister Wisdom at local lesbian events. We're happy to send you issues on consignment to sell in your local community.
Ask your local bookstores or other lesbian-owned establishment to stock Sinister Wisdom with a standing order.
Organize a benefit for Sinister Wisdom in your local community. We're happy to talk about how to do that and give you ideas and support.
Share Sinister Wisdom subscriptions with family and friends. More readers build our community. It's fast and easy to order gift subscriptions on our new website: www.SinisterWisdom.org/subscribe
Most importantly, right now, we need folks to contribute to Sinister Wisdom through the indiegogo campaign http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sinister-wisdom-2014 to help us meet our fundraising goal of $3,000 to ensure that we can fulfill our ambitious publishing goals for 2014. Please give today, as generously as you can, and share this campaign with family and friends. Encourage them to give. Every dollar helps.

I meant to send along more frequent newsletters, but this is the first one since last fall. Perhaps 2014 will feature a little more news and information in your email box from me. Either way, be sure your 2014 includes all issues of Sinister Wisdom, by keeping your subscription up to date!

In Sisterhood,


Julie R Enszer, PhD
Editor, Sinister Wisdom


Good News and New Classes with Elana Dykewomon, Sinister Wisdom Editor Emerita!

Dear Friends –

Some good news, and two classes:

Beyond the Pale is now an audio book, available from Audible.com at: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Beyond-the-Pale-Audiobook/B00FE8BG92/

"I feel honored to have read Beyond the Pale. It was rich, engrossing, painful, powerful, and gorgeous.
This book is an out-and-out tour de force. There's no way that I can recommend it highly enough."
– Jennifer Hartling, at The Relentless Reader, 9/19/13

I hope you will enjoy my narration – it was an intense and educational week in the studio! If you enjoy Beyond the Pale (or Risk!), please consider leaving a review on the Audible site, at Goodreads, or any place you regularly get books on the internet.

Both Beyond the Pale and Risk are available as e-books. You can get them from all the usual e-book purveyors, or directly from their publishers:

Beyond the Pale: http://www.openroadmedia.com/beyond-the-pale
Risk: http://www.bywaterbooks.com/shop/risk

Please pass on to anyone you know who may be interested:

I will begin facilitating the
Writing for Wellness Workshop
at the Women's Cancer Resource Center
5741 Telegraph Ave., Oakland

1 to 3 PM on various Saturdays:

October 26
November 30
December 21

We will focus on using all of our senses for healing, community-building and creativity. We’ll go deep and wide, explore and share, in safe space. For women with cancer and other chronic/acute illnesses. All experience levels welcome!

If the first three months go well, we'll do them regularly on the third Saturdays as much as possible.

These are free workshops, but registration is required at: http://wsdvw2.wsdsecure.com/~wcrcevents/events


A great place to jump start a project or get crucial peer response
supportive • intensive • stimulating

Weekend Writing Workshop for Lesbians
with a focus on writing from life experience
(memoir and fiction)

Saturday and Sunday, January 11 &12
10:30 am – 5 pm both days
at a wheelchair accessible private home

All levels welcome!
$150-250 sliding scale
Enrollment limited to 7.
Enrollment ends December 30th!

We will do writing exercises together focusing on
giving you access to your raw material
and expanding your technical skills,
as well as workshop your pre-submitted pieces.

Participants must be willing and able to e-mail all other participants
a short (3-10 page, double-spaced) selection that you want to be discussed
(along with anything you want others to focus on in your work).
Work must be shared no later than January 3rd
so everyone can be prepared for discussion.

Snacks, teas and beverages will be provided.

e-mail dykewomon@yahoo.com for registration and more information

Catherine Nicholson Memorial

Catherine Nicholson's Memorial
in Durham, North Carolina

Saturday, November 2
2:00 pm
In front of Catherine's former residence at 209 Watts St., Durham

Friends will be planting a tree in the front yard and interring Catherine's ashes there.

Afterwards, we'll gather for a reception in the apartment of Betsy Storozuk, a friend of Catherine's who still lives in the building at 209 Watts St.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Brownrigg

Catherine Nicholson, one of the founders of Sinister Wisdom, died on June 16, 2013. A series of memorials and reminisces of Catherine are featured in Sinister Wisdom 90, which is on sale now and will be in the mail to subscribes by mid-October 2013.

Feisty Seniors Sing Out for Justice and Tenderness at the Peoples’ Voice Cafe

Join The SeaWaves for their fall concert in New York City at PVC - The Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist, 40 East 35th St (Bet Mad Ave and Park Ave) NYC, Saturday, Nov 2 – 8 pm. $18. No one turned away (PVC members: $10).

The SeaWaves with their passionate, playful and political songs share the stage with Linq, edgy, versatile protest singer, to sing out against erosions of civil and LGBTQ+ rights, choice and true democracy.

The SeaWaves’ colorful originals pull from a history of activism and performance (eg, the 70s Women’s Music Network, Brooklyn Women’s Chorus, Some Folks, Isis, Barry White and Machito bands…) Their new CD Talking Truth, is “…deeply political, fiercely feminist, inspiring and heartwarming.” – Julie R. Enszer, Poet and Editor, Sinister Wisdom and features “…lovely selections about life, love, sexuality, being female, and the LGBTQ experience …” – Pam Parker, Union Activist, Singer-Composer. The songs “… are romantic, whimsical, yearning and fun.” – Merry Gangemi, Producer/Host Woman-Stirred Radio, WGDR.

Linq, Massachusetts-based singer-songwriter and OutMusic award winner for “Oh Bully,” came of age in the turbulent sixties, leaving a lucrative career to jump on stage at 55. Her songs mix folk, rock and blues and may inspire you to dance or call your congressperson. linqmusic.com/

The Peoples' Voice Cafe, founded in 1979 by members of Songs of Freedom and Struggle, has its roots in a time-honored tradition combining culture with political activity. A not-for-profit collective that is not affiliated with any political or religious organization, the Cafe is an alternative coffeehouse offering quality entertainment -- usually political music, but also poetry, storytelling, puppetry, dance and theater. Spend Saturday evening with friendly people who don't like budget cuts, wars, poverty, racism, sexism or homophobia.
SeawavesRecordings.com, producers of The SeaWaves’ concerts and CDs is an independent recording company founded by Jeri Hilderley in l978. Interview with Merry Gangemi, Producer/Host Woman-Stirred Radio, WGDR, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVREK1DKlzQ&feature=youtu.be

Jeri Hilderley

New Lesbian Poetry Journal Edited by Valerie Wetlaufer

Sibling Rivalry Press is thrilled to announce the debut of Adrienne: a quarterly journal of lesbian poetry in January 2014. Adrienne is open to submissions from all lesbian, bisexual, and self-identified queer women. The project began as Lady Business, a celebration of lesbian poetry, published in 2012. In the same form as Assaracus, Sibling Rivalry Press’s journal of gay men’s poetry, Adrienne will feature a substantial profile of writing by ten to twelve emerging and established poets in each issue. This format showcases the diverse talents of lesbian writers in our community. Valerie Wetlaufer is the editor of Adrienne. The issues will release at the same time as Assaracus: in January, April, July, and October.

In the past three years, Sibling Rivalry Press has established itself as a LGBTQ publishing force with quality work by diverse authors, straight and LGBTIQ alike. Sibling Rivalry Press and Valerie Wetlaufer selected the name Adrienne as a tribute to Adrienne Rich. In a 1999 interview with Michael Klein, Adrienne Rich said,

There’s a lot of what I would call comfortable poetry around. But then there is all this other stuff going on—which is wilder, which is bristling; it’s juicier, it’s everything that you would want. And it’s not comfortable. That’s the kind of poetry that interests me—a field of energy. It’s intellectual and moral and political and sexual and sensual—all of that fermenting together. It can speak to people who have themselves felt like monsters and say: you are not alone, this is not monstrous. It can disturb and enrapture. (http://www.bostonphoenix.com/archive/1in10/99/06/RICH.html)

Given Rich’s words and Sibling Rivalry Press’s overall mission is to publish work that disturbs and enraptures, it seemed fitting to honor Adrienne Rich in the title of the new lesbian poetry journal.

Editor Valerie Wetlaufer says of the new journal, “In Adrienne I hope to publish the best established lesbian poets alongside exciting emerging poets. I’m looking for all kinds of writing that captures the broad range of queer women’s experiences. I have no single aesthetic I want to promote, beyond really great poetry. I’m especially interested in writing by women of color and trans women.”

Wetlaufer continued, “The name Adrienne has special meaning to me, because it was her poem “Twenty-one Love Poems” that inspired me to write my first verse. Her line “Whatever else happens with us, your body will haunt mine” struck me to my core and I penned an elegy for my first love. I’m thrilled to provide a space for the work of other queer women poets. As more and more attention is brought to the inequities of traditional publishing, through the VIDA count and other venues, I think it’s vital to provide places that openly support work elsewhere-marginalized writers. Assaracus and Jonathan do that, and now we have Adrienne to do that as well.”

Valerie Wetlaufer’s first poetry collection Mysterious Acts by My People was chosen from the open submissions to Sibling Rivalry Press in 2012, and will be published in March 2014. She was previously a poetry editor of Quarterly West, and editorial assistant at Western Humanities Review and The Southeast Review. Wetlaufer holds a MA in Teaching from Bennington College, a MFA in Poetry from Florida State University, and a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from The University of Utah. In 2010, she was a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Retreat Fellow. She has published two chapbooks, Scent of Shatter (Grey Book Press 2010) and Bad Wife Spankings, winner of the 2010 Gertrude Press Chapbook Prize.

For Adrienne submission information, visit siblingrivalrypress.com. Subscriptions will be available after the first few issues, with the same structure, pricing, and discounts as are available with Assaracus.


Festival of Women Writers in Hobart, NY

Join Sinister Wisdom contributor Cheryl Clark and a stellar line up of women writers at the Festival of Women Writers in Hobart, NY.

For more information, check out the festival facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HobartBookVillageFestivalOfWomenWriters


Check out Kalyani Magazine

Kalyani Magazine is a new literary magazine publishing work by women of color. They are making the most of the new publishing environment, using CreateSpace to publish the journal as a "print-on-demand" book. Check out their website and order a copy: http://kalyanimagazine.com/

Gazing Grain Press Chapbook Contest

Gazing Grain Press, an inclusive feminist press, is hosting its second annual chapbook contest, sponsored by the Fall for the Book literary festival in Washington, D.C. The contest is judged this year by poet Cathy Park Hong and open to submissions until June 1.

This contest promotes feminist poetry to and by writers of all genders and sexualities. We are interested in work that explores ideas of identities as connected to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, culture, and ability. We have no one "definition" of feminism and are open to anything.

The winner of the contest receives publication, contributor copies, and an invitation to read at Fall for the Book (including accommodation and continental U.S. travel). Full guidelines and more details about the press are here at the Gazing Grain Press website, http://gazinggrainpress.wordpress.com/.


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"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

― Leslie Feinberg

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven