Spring is here! We’re looking forward to the sunnier weather and new opportunities to bring F.L.O.W. to more locations and events. We’re still looking for a place to house our new-to-us electric assist cargo bike, as well as a soon-to-be-constructed customized trailer--if you have a space near the Women’s Center for Creative Work and would be interested in helping to host us, we would most appreciate your help!
If you’re interested in joining us as a volunteer, please come to our next volunteer meeting: Thursday, April 4th, 7-9pm at the WCCW. We’d especially love to meet you if you might like to work on programming with local libraries or other organizations, or during F.L.O.W.’s Sunday office hours. In keeping with our mission and core values, we would particularly welcome the leadership and experience of women, trans, queer, gender-nonconforming, working class, or disabled feminists of color in our collective. Feel free to send questions to email@example.com
Rad reads for April
National Poetry Month is here! We have some real gems on our shelves right now--from writers whose names might be familiar, like Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, or Christina Rossetti, and from contemporary poets producing new and illuminating work about the world we’re living in now.
Those include three new collections published by Haymarket Press in 2018. Mahogany L. Browne, author of Black Girl Magic, writes of Chicago performance poet and playwright Britteney Black Rose Kapri’s new book of poems, Black Queer Hoe: “As profound as Eartha Kitt, as futuristic in her feminism as Grace Jones as positively unabashed about her body as Josephine Baker and as lyrically provocative as Cardi B; Kapri's multi-genre'd poetic offering is a new home for those unafraid of this brave cruel world.” Caribbean-American poet and teacher Aja Monet’s My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter is on our shelves now; she read the title poem at the Washington, D.C. Women’s March in 2017 to commemorate women of the Diaspora. Angela Y. Davis says of her work, “This stunning volume reminds us that conflict and contradiction can produce hope and that poetry can orient us toward a future we may not yet realize we want.” And definitely check out poet, artist, and educator H. Melt’s On My Way to Liberation, which “envisions a world where trans people are respected, loved and celebrated every day.”
Although you may have read Jamaican-American poet Claudia Rankine’s collection Citizen: An American Lyric (2015; which we’d love another copy of!), you can also find her earlier book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004), described by Graywolf Press as “an important new confrontation with our culture right now, with a voice at its heart bewildered by the anxieties of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won’t leave us alone.” Kentucky-based writer Ada Limón’s much-praised 2018 collection The Carrying is available now too. Journey Wila McAndrews concludes her review of it for PANK Magazine: “The Carrying is a spark of courage in our dark and troubled times, one that implores us to remain awake so we can remake our toughest selves ‘while everyone else is asleep.’” If an anthology of works by multiple authors sounds more your speed, pick up Amanda Hopkinson’s edited volume, Lovers and Comrades: Women’s resistance poetry from Central America.
April is also National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. You can find a lot of material in our collection on this subject, including among our zines. One of the more recently published among them is The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America, by activist Sarah Deer, which makes the argument that “Despite what major media sources say, violence against Native women is not an epidemic. An epidemic is biological and blameless. Violence against Native women is historical and political, bounded by oppression and colonial violence.” Jane Caputi’s historical work The Age of Sex Crime “asks us not only to name the phenomenon of sexually political murder, but to recognize sex crime in all of its various interconnecting manifestations.” For perspectives on how sexual violence has been discussed and understood in the past, you might check out older books like Rape in Marriage, by Diana Russell (1982), Battered Wives, by Dell Martin (1976), or Rape: The Politics of Consciousness, by Susan Griffin (1986).
It’s a big month for national observances! Here are a few more recommendations to fit the bill.
Mathematics Awareness Month: Margaret Alic, Hypatia’s Heritage: A History of Women in Science from Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century; Amy Wibowo, How do Calculators Even.
Black Women’s History Month: Gerda Lerner, Black Women in White America: A Documentary History; William L. Andrews, ed. Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Women’s Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century; Tera W. Hunter, To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War.