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Sinister Wisdom is a Multicultural Lesbian Literary & Art Journal
Sinister Wisdom 114 / A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant
Sinister Wisdom and Inanna Publications & Education Inc. are proud to present a new volume of the work of Native American writer Beth Brant, edited by Janice Gould. A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant collects the writing of Beth Brant, Mohawk lesbian poet, essayist and activist. During her life, Brant’s work gave voice to an often unacknowledged Two-Spirit identity, and today, her words represent continued strength, growth, and connection in the face of deep suffering. A Generous Spirit is Brant’s portrait of survival and empathy at the intersection of Native American and lesbian experience.
A Generous Spirit recounts and enacts the continuance of her people and her sisters with distinct, organic voices and Brant’s characteristic warmth. Her work is a simultaneous cry of grief and celebration of human compassion and connection in its shared experience. Through storytelling, her characters wrest their own voices from years of silence and find communion with other souls.
With a substantial introduction by Janice Gould situating Brant in a broader political and literary context, a foreword by acclaimed Canadian poet Lee Maracle, and a moving afterword by scholar and poet Deborah Miranda, A Generous Spirit is a tribute to the influence of Brant on a generation of Indigenous writers.
About Beth Brant
Beth Brant (Degonwadonti) was a lesbian poet, essayist, activist, and Bay of Quinte Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Reserve in Ontario, Canada. Born in Detroit in 1941, she began writing in 1981 at the age of forty. Brant was the editor of Sinister Wisdom 22/23: A Gathering of Spirit, an anthology of Native American women’s writing, and the author of Mohawk Trail (1985), Food & Spirits (1991), Writing as Witness: Essay and Talk (1994), and I’ll Sing ‘til the Day I Die: Conversations with Tyendinaga Elders (1995). She passed away in August 2015.
Previously Published Issues:
Sinister Wisdom 103 celebrates this embodiment of radical feminist separatist collaboration, transformational self-defined autonomous spaces, a commitment to sisterhood and matriarchal culture, and a musical city sprung from the earth for one week in the woods.
This issue is created by a collective of five womyn operating by consensus, each with a deep connection to MichFest. Striving to represent a wide range of womyn’s voices, values, traditions, and experiences, the collective highlighted what MichFest has meant to generations of womyn, documented its chronology, and bore witness to the power of this community.
Sinister Wisdom 103: Celebrating the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival includes womyn from multiple races, geographies, sexualities, generations, and gender and other social identities. Just as Fest brought together womyn from various backgrounds, this wonderful collection includes a range of artistic experience, from seasoned authors and photographers to womyn new to publishing.
The Editorial Collective: Allison Ricket, Amy Washburn, Angela Martin, Brynn Warriner, and Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz.
Includes Parker’s masterwork, Movement in Black (1978), Womanslaughter (1978), and Jonestown & Other Madness (1985), along with two unpublished plays and a number of previously uncollected poems.
“The breadth of creative output collected here demonstrates the seriousness of Parker’s overall work as a writer. Beginning in 1963, when she was nineteen years old, and continuing until she died in 1989, Parker took her work as a writer seriously. Gathering as much of it as possible into a single volume invites readers to take it seriously as well.” Editor, Julie R. Enszer
Poets, scholars, and readers praise Parker’s work, which has until now been out of print.
“Pat Parker, she was a blueswoman lesbian poet rocknroller performance artist. A “revolutionary feminist,” who understood revolution is “not neat or pretty or quick.” She was a woman intimate with the ravages of breast cancer. And she was a daughter, sister, lover, mother. She was young when she died. But she defied any simple renderings of those labels. In The Complete Works of Pat Parker, we have a trove of her artistic and political engagements-poetry and stories and plays and speeches; these are not separate realities… here too are less celebrated and uncollected works, plays especially, that show off Parker’s willingness to experiment, saying “…I am not a good American. I do not wish to have the world colonized, bombarded and plundered in order to eat steak.” Pat Parker stayed woke to black suffering, violence against black bodies-especially those of black women-to the suffering engendered by multiple, egregious oppressions. With this oeuvre, we are allowed an opportunity to historicize Pat Parker’s significance to black women’s literary traditions, lesbian erotics, to black queer struggles and black feminisms, and to global social justice movements. She was in her time. Now, with this important text, she will be in all time to come.” Award-winning author Alexis de Veaux
“For those in the know, Pat Parker never went anywhere. Contemporary and comrade of Audre Lorde, Parker was one of the most important lesbian writers of color throughout the 70s and 80s. Her work was cherished and widely available though, like most of the other writers in this community, her work went out of print. With Parker’s early death in 1989, her work remained important to only a small but devoted readership. Now editor Julie Enszer has brought all of Parker’s work together for a new generation of readers and activists and just in time. This edition includes all the poems Parker published in her lifetime plus her uncollected poetry, two plays and a range of autobiographical writing and essays. As the Black Lives Matter movement calls attention to the grave risk Black people have always faced and when poets and artists wrestle with the question of how to marry the political and the personal in their work, we have never needed Parker’s work more than NOW. It is absolutely immediate, searing, salving, saving, and NECESSARY.” Poet and writer Kazim Ali
Sinister Wisdom 95: Reconciliations
Gracing the front cover is an image from Sierra Schepmann.
Included in the pages of this fantastic issue is Poetry by Kat McAllister Black, Diane Furtney, Bonnilee Kaufman, Cathy Marston, Nyk Robertson, Maureen Seaton,
Fiction by Annemarie Monahan and T. Stores.
Creative Work by Roberta Arnold, Maureen Brady, Rona Magy, April Jo Murphy, Janine Mercer, Heather Seggel, and more!
Sinister Wisdom publishes four issues each year, and works to create a multicultural, multi-class lesbian space. Sinister Wisdom’s purpose is to open, consider and advance the exploration of lesbian community issues, and recognizes the power of language to reflect our diverse experiences. Sinister Wisdom seeks to enhance our ability to develop critical judgment as lesbians evaluating our community and our world.
Guest Editors: Rose Norman and Merril Mushroom.
Interviews with Byllye Avery, Pat Hussain, Calla and Laurose Felicity, Garnett Harrison, Founders of SONG.
Creative Work by Corky Culver, Merril Mushroom, Kate Ellison, Gail Reeder, Lenny Lasater. And More!
Guest Editor, Elizabeth Hansen, with Essays by Peggy L. Chinn & Elizabeth R. Berrey, Maria V. Ciletti, Sharon Deevey, Kelli Dunham, Alma Garcia, Sarah Lipkin-Lamay, Karen Starr, Maida Tilchen, Jean Taylor.
Creative Work by Judith Beckett, Cassandra Christenson, Joan Cofrancesco, Michelle Duford, Diane Solis, Samn Stockwell. And so much more!
Special Features: Speculative Fiction by Susan Levinkind, Memoir by Ellen Orleans, Poetry by Diane Solis, Cara Armstrong, and Tara Shea Burke, and a Tribute to Catherine Nicholson, founding editor and publisher of Sinister Wisdom.
Creative Work by Amber Carpenter, Tegan Grant, Barbara Haas. Alexandria Kapczynski, Sheree Mack, E. Manning-Pogé, Tina Minkowitz, Michele Patrizi, Allegra Perhaes, Sam Samson, and More!
Sinister Wisdom Issue #87: “Tribute to Adrienne Rich” SOLD OUT
Features work by Cheryl Clarke, Rachel Tzvia Back, Elliott batTzedek, Elana Dykewomon, Stephania Byrd, Jocelyn Heath, Jewelle Gomez, Antonia Matthew, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Lynda Koolish, Jenny Factor, Chris Shorne, Bekah Steimel, and Alison Bechdel. Obituary for Leigh Star and more!
Sinister Wisdom Issue #77: “Environmental Issues, Lesbian Concerns”
Lesbians understand why Earth is called “Mother Earth.” As daughters of Earth Mother we honor our female bond through song and praise, respect her as she cycles through our lives. We perform rituals, we raise our heads, hearts, and arms to her, appreciating her for her never-ending breathe of life-air, land, her seas, rivers, mountains, valleys and her deserts. We love her and honor her. We pray to her for continuance of her gifts to us, her feminine glory, and her essence of life like a mother breast-feeding life-giving milk to her child.
Like a daughter who is connected to her Mother, Mother Earth Lesbians throughout the world are sensitively aware of what is happening to her. Our praise has turned to desperate pleas. We see her being raped and mutilated by those without respect. This is the catastrophe. Our Earth Mother is getting sick.
Yes, Lesbians of Mother Earth are aware. We are letting our Earth Mother know our fears, concerns, anger and our need to take care of her for we are her. There are daughters who like a mother sitting quietly by their sick child gives energies of love for healing. There are daughters who fight the oppressors, demanding of them that they stop this relentless onslaught. There are daughters singing the healing songs, and daughters whose hands replenish Earth. These daughters are represented in this 77th issue of Sinister Wisdom.
Because of the contributions of the Lesbians represented here, each of you reading this journal will be naturally sending, with little to no effort, because we are women, your love to our Earth Mother.
Contributors: Diane Foster, Tina Freimuth, Alma Avotcja, Shaba Barnes, Denise Brautigam, Brenwyn, Natasha Carthew, Julie Enszer, Diane Foster, Tina Freimuth, Deb Furiedman, Carole Gale, Alix Greenwood, Sue Lenaerts, H. Madrone, Lynn Martin, Ruth Mountaingrove, Jeanne Neath, Mary Oishi, Sudie Rakusin, Ida VSW Red, Kim Rivers, Lilith Rogers, Zarod Rominski, Jan Shade, Sandy Tate, Ellen Williams, Judith K. Witherow, Ruth Zachary, Sue Lenaerts.
Sinister Wisdom accepts returns for reasons of publication irregularities or damage in the mail.
Julie R. Enszer is the current editor of Sinister Wisdom, pulished three times each year since 1976. This Journal of Lesbian Art and Literature is distributed not only to paid subscribers, but also to women in prison and in mental institutions.
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