July 26, 2019
Dear Sinister Wisdom Sisters,
The weekend is coming! What are your lesbionic plans? We hope they include reading, writing, and seeing amazing summer lesbian plays! With Summer already half-way through, don’t forget to check out some of the art that our community has produced for you!
IN NEW YORK? GO SEE MERRIL MUSHROOM’S BAR DYKES
Jess Barbagallo from Artforum describes Mushroom’s Bar Dykes as a sensual, comical and at times somber depiction of lesbians interacting and being lesbian in a 1958 bar. Bar Dykes explores the roles of butch, femme, and switches to an almost critical, observing way, displaying these “types” of lesbians as predecessors to sexualities and gender identities we have come to know today; such as pansexuality. This is all done with a flair of comedy, lesbians and queer women of any age able to relate to some of the jokes and exchanges written.
DiAnna Fitztola digs into how the play, although staged in 1958, manages to truly connect to a wide, modern audience due to its multicultural casting: “The multiracial cast strays from the reality of the segregated social scenes of 1958 but it works to bring the lived experience of lesbians to a wider audience. Throughout the play, lesbians see reflections of themselves.”
This time capsule of a play serves an important role in the community today. As Diana states, “We need to remember not only who we were, but how far we have come. It has been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, and lesbians are still fighting for our rights as full human beings. In Bar Dykes, we can see that not only have we come out of the darkness and secrecy of the bar, we also have come a long way in understanding our worth and having pride in who we are and how we love.” Read DiAnna Fiztola's full review of Merril Mushroom's Bar Dykes online here.
Bar Dykes is currently in New York City at The Other Side of Silence (TOSOS), the oldest and longest producing LGBTQ+ theatre company. Tickets start at $32!
INTERVIEW WITH EDITORS MERRIL HARRIS, ROSE NORMAN AND KATE ELLISON
FROM Sinister Wisdom 98: Landykes of the South
Kicking off an exciting series of interviews with past Sinister Wisdom editors is Merril Mushroom, Rose Norman and Kate Ellison from Sinister Wisom 98: Landykes of the South. Sinister Wisdom 98 is a special issue of Sinister Wisdom where memoirs, interviews, essays and artifacts from the Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory’s Project, a project of Womonwrites, the Southeast Lesbian Writer’s Conference were featured. The collection of Landyke stories begin in 1969 with the possibly first Lesbian land group in the country, and comes to an end through the storytelling present at the end of the twentieth century, more specifically 1998 with Maat Dompim.
Merril, Rose and Kate responded to these questions about this issue of Sinister Wisdom and the challenges and pride that came with editing it.
Tell me about the issue of Sinister Wisdom that you edited. What were you most proud of in the issue? What was most challenging?
Merril: Getting herstories of landykes into print so women who didn't know about this, would. We have a whole new generation that this is new for. Difficulties were getting folks to meet deadlines and, most especially, cutting these wonderful stories so they'd fit within the even extended wordcount.
Rose: From our interviews with landykes living in the South, we pulled together stories of 19 different women’s lands, eleven of them still going concerns, plus stories about culture that supports and connects the women’s land movement—Maize, Shewolf’s Directory, Lesbian Natural Resources—and related topics, such as Naj’s story of being a traveling dyke and Merril’s interviews with young lesbians’ more recent experiences with collective living.
The timeline of 51 women’s lands in the South was the most challenging to create and also the thing I’m most proud of in the issue.
Kate: Sinister Wisdom 98: Landykes of the South contained beautiful, compelling stories of lesbian lives lived in community, with careful intention to create something new. It contained my story, and it was the first time I was challenged to write the whole story of my land, from my point of view.
Make sure to take a look at the full interview posted now on the Sinister Wisdom website! And order Sinister Wisdom 98: Landykes of the South today!
NOTES FOR A REVOLUTION
We’re a bit past halfway in 2019’s Summer, and what better time to order a copy of Sinister Wisdom’s blank book, Notes for a Revolution. Notes for a Revolution has 144 coil-bound blank pages featuring inspiring quotations for women to feel motivated and supported, as well as plenty of space for writing.
The blank book is available for only $14 plus postage of $2.75. They also make great gifts!
SINISTER WISDOM 2020 CALENDAR
Don’t forget, the Sinister Wisdom 2020 Calendar is up for preorder! After our calendar curator, Sara Gregory, sent out an open call for the 2020 calendar seeking out the best visual art lesbians had to offer, in under three, short months Sara received over a hundred submissions, ranging from digital art, illustrations, paintings, photography, and everything else in between. Bold, sensual, and poignant art flood the pages of the calendar for your enjoyment and appreciation throughout the year.
Check out the cover of the calendar here.
Some of the talented lesbian and queer artists included are Gabriella ggggrimes, Art Twink, Salome Grasland, shutterdykes, Mi Ok Song Bruining, Sarah Jane Hardt, Nancy E. Lake and many more. In an exclusive opportunity for email newsletter subscribers, here is the back cover with thumbnails of the monthly calendar images:
Reminder, if you order before August 15th, you will receive free shipping.
You can also order one calendar for $15, or order our best deal available: five for $75, including shipping and handling even after August 15th.
Support Sinister Wisdom and our shared lesbian, queer community today!
Update from the Editor and Publisher
We may be floating away in Florida after this week of rain and thunderstorms, but I am curled up with a good book and working with an amazing collection of women on a variety of projects for Sinister Wisdom. The Calendar, Notes for a Revolution, and the new series of interviews with editors about back issues of the journal are all new initiatives that interns and women initiate with inspiration from Sinister Wisdom. It is an exciting time to be involved with the journal. What might you do to amplify the work of Sinister Wisdom and raise up lesbian art and writing in the world?
As always, share your thoughts with me about Sinister Wisdom. Think about how YOU can contribute to our continued work publishing, celebrating, and promoting lesbian literary arts, and join us in the revolution at hand.
Julie R. Enszer, PhD
Editor and Publisher, Sinister Wisdom
Notes for a Revolution! Click here for more information and order this notebook lined with inspirational quotes for women with plenty of space for you to add your own writing!
Here is the awesome announcement about OLOC in Columbus, Ohio! Make plans to attend!