Happy Friday! Thank you to everyone for your glowing response to our first Sinister Snapshot, a biweekly email offering glimpses into lesbian worlds. We are planning to publish these every other Friday. Send us tips at

Deborah Alicen, a volunteer with Sinister Wisdom from the early days with Catherine Nicholson and Harriet Desmoines, sent us a great story about Sinister Wisdom 9, which featured a photo of her then lover, Barbara, as the Bull Dyke on the cover. She writes:

A tiny story about that cover: the printer had screwed up and faded the colors of the picture so that "Sinister Wisdom," in black, would show well, but they were supposed to superimpose the title in white. That threw everyone except me, as I was out of town at the time, into a tizzy. Eventually, one bright dyke came up with the idea of carving Bull Dyke stamps out of rubber erasers, and stamping all the covers with it in red. Laborious undertaking, but many willing hands to do it. When I got back to town, I went into a tizzy over the printer's error, but Catherine let me know they had all already been through their tizzy and didn't want to go there again, so I should just get over it. Besides which, the Bull Dyke stamp really made the cover pop. And it did. So I got over it.
Deborah included a photograph of the original cover without the Bull Dyke stamp. We had no idea that it was stamped on and why. Thanks, Deborah, for sharing more of our herstory!

Check out the cover of Sinister Wisdom 9 as it actually went out into the world here:

On March 5th, 2 p.m. ET, the Spinnboden will be hosting a conversation with the Lesbian archives of Berlin Joan Nestle and Melissa Connelly, the newest coordinator of the Lesbian Herstory Archives. To register, email

The annual OutWrite literary festival is seeking reading, panel, and workshop submissions. The deadline of March 15th is quickly approaching. This panel from OutWrite 2021, “LGBQT+ Writers Reading the Apocalyptic News” was particularly cathartic.


Julie and Elana Grossman edited a new book about the orginal OutWrite conference called OutWrite: The Speeches that Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture. On March 20th Charis Books and More is hosting a launch event featuring readings from Cheryl Clarke, Sarah Schulman, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Michael Bronski. Register here.

Follow Julie’s website for more information about the book and events surrounding its publication.

On Thursday, March 10th at 6 p.m. ET, Villiage Preservation is hosting a zoom webinar with playwright Barbara Kahn . It will be a night of interactive theatrical performances, oral history, readings, and Off-Off Broadway confessionals. Register here.

Saeed Jones interviewed Pamela Sneed. They discuss her most recent work Funeral Divas (winner of Lamda Award for Lesbian poetry) and the gift of being in the margins.

Michigan State University is honoring Terri Jewell, a Black, female, lesbian poet who died in 1995 as part of their Black History Month pop-up display in the library:

An archive of Shelby Cohen’s photography is on sale. It includes photography collections of the 1980s BDSM scene, the Gay Games, and Theatre Rhinoceros. 

Cornell University is hosting an exhibition called “Radical Desire: Making On Our Backs featuring archival materials of the lesbian magazine On Our Backs as well as Jessica Tanzer’s photography. The collection pulls from Cornell library’s Human Sexuality Collection. Read more about it here.

Speaking of Off Our Backs, Wanderground previously published a phenomenal radio documentary, A Labor of Love: The History of Feminist and Lesbian Bookstores and Publishing, that pays tribute to lesbian/feminist publishers and bookstores by platforming the women that ran them. It’s an oldie but a goodie.


Loving this photo album by Mev Miller: At Home with Old Lesbians in Rhode Island (once again, courtesy of the Wanderground website). It is very wholesome.

Emmett Till, The Opera is premiering at the Gerald W Lynch Theater in New York on March 23rd and is showing again on the 24th. Listen to an audio sample here. Learn more about the origin of the play turned opera on Librettist Clare Coss’s website.
Soundtracks of Sisterhood” discusses women’s music activism, the archival work persevering the diverse artists and sounds of the 70s, and the journey of this work into the academic and public light.

Julie, Cheryl, and Shromona were interviewed by ORCA Media about the latest issue, Sinister Wisdom 123: A Tribute to Conditions (don’t forget to snag a copy before its gone!), the production of Sinister Wisdom, and lesbian culture.

A newish documentary catching our interest, My Name is Pauli Murray (2021) directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, documents the life of a civil rights activist sometimes overlooked. Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray was the first African American woman (who some would describe as nonbinary) to graduate from Yale. Recently her book of poems Dark Testament and Other Poems went back into print.

Two beautiful biographies Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg and National Book Award Nominee The Firebrand and the First Lady by Patricia Bell-Scott follow her life and her impact on gender and racial equality.

Jewelle Gomez narrates T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s’, a documentary about queer jazz divas such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. Read a review and synopsis here.

Sinister Wisdom is interested in resurrecting their podcast Spoken Violets. If you have any ideas for potential podcast episodes or if you are willing and able to help us produce Spoken Violets, email

Our editorial assistant, Sierra Earle, won the Lyrical Iowa contest and was featured in The Mount Mercy Times. Sierra says they scrubbed the story clean of their class and lesbian discourse.

If you would like to support Sinister Wisdom's thriving lesbian community please consider donating or subscribing. Your support is vital to our mission of platforming lesbian culture as well as providing professional and educational resources to women and lesbians. Thank you to our sustainers for supporting our advancement of the lesbian arts!

What lesbian culture has your imagination? Let us know at

Curated with love and passion, revolution and optimism. May these stories of queer culture inspire, enthuse, and rouse you to lesbian actions. We hope you've enjoyed the second installment of "Sinister Snapshot"! Have a lovely weekend.
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