Front Cover by Mercy Thokozane Minah
dusk afloat, 2022
16.54 X 23.39
Volume 64, Issue 4
JUST OVER FIFTY YEARS AGO, guest editors Lee R. Edwards, Mary Heath, and Lisa Baskin curated WOMAN: An Issue (1972). “Looking at women, we see with many eyes, speak with many voices,” they wrote in the original publication’s foreword at a time when mainstream feminism disregarded the experiences and needs of Black and Brown women. We, the guest editors of WOMAN: Revisited, have worked to carry and build upon the original editors’ legacy. In WOMAN: Revisited, we center women who have been most invisibilized by oppressive systems and structures: women who are queer, trans, gender non-conforming, poor, incarcerated, disabled, and more.
In this special issue, literary and visual artists probe and physicalize “Woman” on the page. What is Woman? Who is a Woman? What makes a “real” Woman? Woman is explored across geographical space: Woman on international lands. Woman on the ocean. Woman in colonized territories. Woman in carcerality’s confinement. There is inquiry within this issue, investigation, international perspective. Wide terrain is covered to bring in and with us as many women as possible.
Angela Davis wrote, “The paucity of literature on the [B]lack woman is outrageous on its face. But we must also contend with the fact that too many of these rare studies must claim as their signal achievement the reinforcement of fictitious clichés.” Indeed, the continual dearth of literature on Black and Brown women that continues fifty years after Davis published those words in the original WOMAN: An Issue is unsurprising. That is, of course, the nature of oppressive structures and systems—they take a long time to crumble and fall. In these pages, nonetheless, we work to dismantle the master’s house with our own tools. We embrace the full, complex breadth of Woman in our real and myriad glory.
As guest editors we aimed to center all Woman across race, class, bodies, borders, culture, and confinement. We brought together multiple distinct waves of womanhood to create a vast ocean of Woman. We recognize that we are different, we are unique, and we are one. Of course, with the limitations of publishing, it is not possible to capture every woman’s experience. Yet we hope the span of literary and visual art contained in these pages reflect the ways in which Woman has advanced and expanded, as well as engender openings for even wider and far-reaching inquiries of Woman in years, decades, centuries to come.
We extend our sincerest appreciation to all the contributors who lent their brilliance, labor and spirit to this collection.
With your words, you are helping to change the world.
—Nicole Shawan Junior
WOMAN: REVISITED is being released in the midst of a moral panic ginned up by conservative elected officials and U.S. oligarchs to keep us fighting a culture war so we don’t fight the class war, the war to abolish borders, the war to save the planet, the war for the imagination (which poet, activist, and mystic Diane di Prima insisted was the most urgent).
I’m grateful for the internationalism of this issue, the writers here who have been impacted by the prison industrial complex, and for the presence of trans and nonbinary writers and artists. It braids plangent cries for justice in a subtle polyphony. What kinds of justice? Among myriad other forms, racial justice, abolitionist justice, and reproductive justice, the last of which ought to include access to not only menstrual products and safe and legal abortions but also to gender affirming care.
While there are few questions as contested as “Who is a woman?” I believe that we can have solidarity within heterogeneity. Not only that we can but that we must. The stakes are life, but not merely life—life in its full complexity. We deserve nothing less than agency, possibility, pleasure. As it is, these qualities are unevenly distributed, so the writing and art herein are various in what they demand of their readers and viewers.
This issue is a heterogeneous assemblage that cuts across border, race, class, gender, language, ability, and aesthetic. That said, it is also of necessity partial. Like the issue it revisits—indeed like any anthology or special issue—if the goal is comprehensiveness, it will miss the mark. The best it can do is to make the attempt while gesturing toward what is left out. So as you reach the end, please imagine this issue ending without any closing punctuation.
I WANTED THIS ISSUE to be internationalist. To be multipolar and transcontinental. To have many points of entry, to speak many feminisms, from all corners of the world. To read as if it might equally been curated and edited from Ankara or Abidjan as from Amherst.
I wanted the readers of this issue to feel that they’re at a festival of feminist thought, literature, and art. To wander through a richness of tents where women are thinking together; disputing, co-creating, worldmaking. I wanted this issue to be a makers’ party.
I wanted this issue to be women in collective movement, citing each other, taking each other as our reference points. Across generations, geographies, and genealogies. Navigating currents of interlocking oppressions. Drawing on feminist knowledge and feminist lifeworlds.
I wanted colonized women to be visible and vocal in this issue, pursuing liberation on their own terms. I wanted to publish work that would foment critical discomfort and work that would incite joy. I wanted us to ask: Who are we listening to? Who are we thinking with? Where, and how, and with what tools?
The contrast between the two cover images, fifty years apart, maps a journey. The cover of WOMAN: An Issue (1972) was Woman in Purdah by U.S. photographer Dorothea Lange. The image is a black and white photo of a fully veiled woman’s head, her face completely hidden. The cover of WOMAN: Revisited (2023) is dusk (afloat). by South African multidisciplinary artist Mercy Thokozane Minah. The image is two big-bodied, dark-skinned African women kissing in a boat, which they are rowing on an ocean under a red-aqua sky.
The distance traversed is singular to plural. Monochrome to color. Neck-up to fully embodied. Stasis to motion. Orientalism to Queer Africanity. Woman, hidden and isolated, to women together, loving out in the open.
By Wairimũ Mũrĩithi
By Susan Abulhawa
By Koa Beck
By Lebogang Mashile
By Nicole Shawan Junior
Table of Contents
THERE IS A PORTAL, a performance piece by Kayhan Irani
ODE TO ILLNESS and MANIFESTO, poems by Lory Bedikian
THERE IS A HOUSE IN NEW ORLEANS,
an essay by Wairimũ Mũrĩithi
*a playlist curated from Wairimũ's essay can be found here*
CIRCLE and UNTAMED TONGUE,
poems by 离离草 Chinese Artists and Organizers (CAO) Collective, translated by Fran Yu and Huiyin Zhou
DEAR A, and SCAR, poems by k
PLUNDER, a novel excerpt by Carole DeSanti
MISSISSIPPI GODDAM and SEE JANE RUN,
poems by Pamela Wax
ROE: TELLING THE TALE, an essay by Joyce Avrech Berkman
SLASH/BURN, a lyric essay by Faylita Hicks
RECENT WORK, art by Mercy Thokozane Minah and
Amaryllis R. Flowers
THE TRAGEDYOF RAISING SONS,
an essay by Elisabet Velasquez
PUT ASUNDER, a story by Deesha Philyaw
VOICES ACROSS TIME BLUR and FLOWER BOAT
I’M NOT PERMITTED PASSAGE ON,
poems by Hoa Nguyen
UNDERSTANDING THE WEAVE, UNDOING THE SEAMS,
a discussion from the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center
FROM OTHERHOOD, a poem by Emily Hunerwadel
UNCOOKED COUNTRY and A MURMUR
OF AN UNCOOKED COUNTRY,
poems by Mahogany L. Browne
UNSUNG WOMEN, an essay by Vivian D. Nixon
SOME BLACK LONELINESS, an essay by Jet Toomer
OF STARSHINE AND CLAY, a poem by Noor Jaber
COMING OUT, a memoir excerpt by Porpora Marcasciano,
translated by Sandra Waters and Francesco Pascuzzi
MIRROR IMAGE, an essay by K.C. Johnson
I ASK MY DAUGHTER TO CONSIDER HER BODY,
a poem by Stefanie Kirby
TEN MINUTES, a short story by Aliyeh Ataei,
translated by Siavash Saadlou
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
SUSAN ABULHAWA is a Palestinian-American writer and political activist. She is the author of Mornings in Jenin—translated into thirty languages—and The Blue Between Sky and Water. Born to refugees of the Six Day War of 1967, she moved to the United States as a teenager, graduated in biomedical science, and established a career in medical science. In 2001, Abulhawa founded Playgrounds for Palestine, a nongovernmental children’s organization dedicated to upholding the Right to Play for Palestinian children. She lives in Pennsylvania.
ALIYEH ATAEI is an Iranian-Afghan author whose books have won major literary awards in Iran, including Mehregan-e-Adab for Best Novel. In English, her short stories and essays have appeared in Southeast Review, Guernica, and Michigan Quarterly Review, among other journals. In 2023, Ataei’s collection of personal essays, Kursorkhi in Persian, was published to wide critical acclaim in translated French by Éditions Gallimard under the title La Frontiére des Oubliés.
RUTHFIRST E.A. AYANDE is a scholar-activist and poet with research interests in maternal and child health in underserved populations. She holds a Ph.D. in public health (nutrition) and is currently a postdoctoral associate at the Department of Pediatrics in the Yale School of Medicine.
KOA BECK is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction book White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind. She is a recipient of both the Joan Shorenstein Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Alan Jutzi Fellowship at The Huntington. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife and foster child.
LORY BEDIKIAN has been awarded the 2023 Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize in Poetry and the First Prize Award in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry as part of the 2022 Nimrod Literary Awards. Her collection The Book of Lamenting was awarded the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Bedikian earned an MFA from the University of Oregon. Newer work is published in Miramar, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review, Northwest Review, on the Best American Poetry blog, and Poets.org. Her poems have also been included in the anthology Border Lines: Poems of Migration, BOULEVARD, The Adroit Journal, Literary Matters, Orion, wildness, Poetry Northwest, and featured on Pádraig Ó Tuama’s Poetry Unbound podcast.
JOYCE AVRECH BERKMAN is professor of history emerita at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she taught from 1965 to 2014. She taught as well at Mount Holyoke College and in Canada and Germany, earning the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award and its Distinguished Academic Outreach Award and a U.S. Fulbright, among other awards. She was a founding member of the University and Five College Women’s Studies programs. A public historian, she works with theaters in play development and co-founded the Valley Women’s History Collaborative.
MAHOGANY L. BROWNE, selected as Kennedy Center’s Next 50 and Wesleyan’s 2022-23 distinguished writer-in-residence, the Executive Director of JustMedia, artistic director of Urban Word, is a writer, playwright, organizer, and educator. Browne has received fellowships from All Arts, Arts for Justice, Air Serenbe, Baldwin for the Arts, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research, and Rauschenberg. She is the author of recent works: Vinyl Moon, Chlorine Sky (optioned for Steppenwolf Theater), Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, and Black Girl Magic. Founder of the diverse lit initiative Woke Baby Book Fair, Browne is currently touring her latest poetry collection, Chrome Valley, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was highlighted in the New York Times. She is the first-ever poet-in-residence at the Lincoln Center and lives in Brooklyn.
CHINESE ARTISTS AND ORGANIZERS (CAO) COLLECTIVE 离离草 creates art to empower relational community healing. We make space for nuanced narratives rooted in China, the Sinophone diaspora, and other experiences from the margins. As cultural organizers, we explore social justice-oriented theorizing and narrativizing through communal and processual art practices. Our interdisciplinary praxis interweaves collective poetry, performance, food art, clay, sound, and installation. We reimagine memory/memorials, rituals, intimacy, and queer/feminist kinship to (re)build sustainable community infrastructures.
TIARRA COOPER is a PhD candidate in German studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She currently instructs in women, gender, and sexuality studies. Her research investigates the afterlife of the Holocaust in (neo)eugenics, fertility discourse(s), medicine, and reproductive politics.
CAROLE DESANTI is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. A longtime acquisitions editor at Dutton and Viking Penguin, she is known for her work to expand publishing’s traditional boundaries to include authors from diverse class, race, and cultural backgrounds and for her early support of LGBTQ+ writers. Most recently, she was the Elizabeth Drew Professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College. Carole is currently working on her second novel, Plunder, and a collection of essays about writing and publishing, An Author Prepares.
SNEHA GOLE is a gender studies scholar whose research and teaching focuses on feminist movements in South Asia, gender and culture, gender and higher education, and global politics of knowledge.
FAYLITA HICKS (she/they) is an Afro-Latinx writer, artivist, and cultural strategist. They are the author of HoodWitch, a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the forthcoming poetry collection A Map of My Want, and the debut memoir about their carceral experiences, A Body of Wild Light. A voting member of the Recording Academy, Hicks is the recipient of grants, residencies, and fellowships from the Art for Justice Fund, the Texas After Violence Project, Black Mountain Institute, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Civil Rights Corps, Right of Return USA, and Tin House, among others. The winner of the 2020 Sappho Award from Palette Poetry, their poetry and essays have been published or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Longreads, Poem-A-Day, Poetry Magazine, Scalawag, Slate, The Slowdown Podcast, and Yale Review, among others.
EMILY HUNERWADEL is the author of the chapbook Professional Crybaby, selected by Kyle Dargan for the Poetry Society of America’s 2017 Chapbook Fellowship, and Peach Woman, selected by Doublecross Press for their Bound-Together contest and published as a dos-à-dos chapbook with Zoe Tuck’s The Book of Bella. They won Columbia Journal’s 2019 Fall Poetry Contest, judged by Monica Sok, and their work has been featured by the Academy of American Poets, Bustle, Fonograf Editions, the Vassar Review, Quarterly West, and Palette Poetry, among others. Hunerwadel holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Born and raised in the deep south, they work as a book designer and writer in western Massachusetts.
KAYHAN IRANI is an Emmy Award–winning writer, a performer, a cultural activist, and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer. In 2010 Kayhan won a New York Emmy Award for best writing for We Are New York, a nine-episode broadcast TV drama used as an English language and civic engagement tool for immigrant New Yorkers. In 2012 she was a Fulbright-Nehru senior researcher doing research in India for her play Tree of Seeds. Her one-woman show, We’ve Come Undone, toured nationally and internationally, telling stories of Arab, South Asian, and Muslim-American women in the wake of 9/11. She has trained hundreds of groups in Theater of the Oppressed and participatory storytelling tools over the years, both nationally and overseas, in Afghanistan, India, and Iraq. She is currently building There is a Portal, an immersive digital experience, community pedagogy, and leadership development model that offers wayfinding tools to create networks of belonging through fracture.
NOOR ('DITEE) JABER is a poet finding her way. Her work has been published by several journals such as DIAGRAM and Pleiades. Her poems reimagine grief, love, language, perspective, and power dynamics. She is the author of Praise to Lesser Gods of Love, published in 2019 by Glass Poetry, as well as self-published work via Patreon.
K.C. JOHNSON is a writer, currently incarcerated in North Carolina. She attended Ohio University’s Correspondence program, and is currently working on her bachelor’s. She has been writing with Prison Journalism Project(.com) for two years and would not be here without their guidance and support. Running is her lifeline, her link to sanity; writing is an attempt to express that which keeps her running. She plans to earn her master’s in nonfiction/journalism and to tell the stories most people do not even know they need to hear.
NICOLE SHAWAN JUNIOR (they/she/us/we) was born and bred in the bass-heavy beat and scratch of Brooklyn, where the cool of inner-city life barely survived crack cocaine’s burn. Nicole is a mother, counter-storyteller, Lucumi aborisha, African yoga instructor, and reiki practitioner. In a past iteration of selfhood, Nicole was a prosecutor and felon. Their writing is anthologized in The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison, and appears in Oprah Daily, Guernica, the Rumpus, Teachers & Writers Magazine, and elsewhere. They have received residencies and fellowships from Tin House, Hedgebrook, Lambda Literary, NYFA, Periplus, and more.
K is a poet.
STEFANIE KIRBY lives and writes along Colorado’s Front Range. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Maine Review, Passages North, Poet Lore, Faultline Journal, and Stonecoast Review, among others, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net.
CATHERINE LAFLEUR is the 2023–24 Luis Angel Hernandez Poet Laureate for Exchange for Change. Her work has been published in Don’t Shake the Spoon, Witness Capsule, and Prisoner Express. Catherine is the inaugural winner of PEN America's Belle Chevigny Prize.
JACQUELYNE LUCE is a feminist science studies scholar and medical anthropologist whose teaching and scholarship focus on rare disease research, care, and activism and collaborative pedagogies.
PORPORA MARASCIANO is a transwoman who serves on the city council of Bologna, Italy, and she heads the Commission of Equality and Equal Opportunities in that capacity. She received a degree in modern history from the University of Rome "La Sapienza” and has been an activist in political, social, feminist, gay, and trans movements since the 1970s. Her publications include Dawn of the Bad Transwomen: Stories, Gazes, and Experiences of My Transgender Generation, Fabulous Narrators: Transexual Stories, and two editions of AntoloGaia. She is the subject of the 2021 biographical documentary film Porpora (directed by Roberto Cannavò) and also stars in the documentary The Fabulous Ones (directed by Roberta Torre).
LEBOGANG MASHILE is an award-winning poet, author, presenter, actress, and producer. Venus vs Modernity: The Life of Saartjie Baartman marks Mashile’s first foray into penning a full length theatrical production. She has previously acted in the Academy-Award–nominated film Hotel Rwanda, the stage adaptation of K. Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams, as well as Ngyidansa, the stage adaptation of Pamela Nomvete’s autobiography by the same name. Mashile won the NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa in 2006 for her premier collection In A Ribbon of Rhythm (Oshun), which was also published in German by Wunderhorn. In 2008 she released Flying Above the Sky, her second book of poetry. As a recording artist, Mashile has two studio albums under her belt, Lebo Mashile Live! (2006) and Moya (2017). For the past three years, she has been the voice of CNN’s Inside Africa.
MERCY THOKOZANE MINAH is a gender-expansive, queer multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in South Africa. Their work exists across varying mediums; literary, audio-visual, theater-based and visual. After dropping out of an unsuccessful four years in law school, they gradually returned to creating as their core life practice through sporadic publication of their short stories in various anthologies, including Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction, Writing the Walls Down, Outside the XY: Black and Brown Queer Masculinities, and Exhale: Queer African Erotic Fiction. Mercy’s artwork has been written about or featured across an array of platforms, including Black Creatives Taking Up Space, Culture Power’s WE AS OURSELVES Campaign, Dwelling, Stellium Magazine, the Mail, The Guardian, CityPress, the Paris Review, Superrare’s Black*Rare (curated by Linda Dounia Rebeiz), and Quantum Art to name a few. Recently, their work was featured in BKhz gallery’s ‘If not now, then when,’ group exhibition and at the French-Mozambiquen Cultural Center. Mercy has an upcoming feature in Bkhz’s booth at the art fair held at 1-54 in London.
AMARYLLIS R. FLOWERS earned an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2019 and her BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts in 2014. She is the recipient of the 2023 Pocantico Prize from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a 2022–2027 Joan Mitchell Fellow, and a 2021 Creative Capital Awardee. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including at the Brooklyn Museum, El Museo Del Barrio (New York), The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art (Ridgefield, CT), MoCADA (Brooklyn), and SOMArts (San Francisco).
WAIRIMŨ MŨRĨITHI is a gender-nefarious feminist abolitionist reader, writer, editor, educator, zine maker, and archivist from East Africa. Their areas of research and writing include crime, criminality and abolition, queer cultural production, freedom of expression, sexuality education, care-work in movement building, cycling, swimming, and collaging. Most of Wairimũ’s work is catalogued on their blog, ku[to]zurura. They currently live on unceded Lenapehoking land in Brooklyn.
HOA NGUYEN is a poet, educator, and member of the collective She Who Has No Masters, a project of multi-voiced collectivity, hybrid poetics, encounters, in-between spaces, and (dis)places of the Vietnamese diaspora. Her books include Red Juice: Poems 1998–2008 and the Griffin Prize–nominated Violet Energy Ingots. Her latest, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure, was a finalist for a 2021 National Book Award, the General Governor’s Literary Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She’s an Aquarius and a Fire Horse.
REVEREND VIVIAN D. NIXON is writer in residence at The Square One Project at Columbia Justice Lab. She joined Square One after 20 years of leadership at College & Community Fellowship (CCF), a nonprofit helping women with criminal convictions earn college degrees. Vivian has been a leader in the movement to ensure that justice-involved women have access to higher education. She earned an undergraduate degree at SUNY Empire, an MFA from Columbia School of the Arts, and received an honorary doctorate from Bard College. She is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and recipient of the John Jay Medal for Justice and fellowships from Ascend at the Aspen Institute, Open Society Foundations, and PEN America Writing for Justice.
EVER E. OSORIO is an interdisciplinary scholar of Latin American culture and society, with broad knowledge of global social movements, gender studies and feminisms. She will complete her Ph.D. in American studies at Yale University with a certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies in Spring 2024.
FRANCESCO PASCUZZI received a Ph.D. in Italian from Rutgers University. He currently teaches English writing at Rutgers University as an assistant teaching professor. He has presented and published on a variety of topics, from Visconti’s “Morte a Venezia” to the representation of reality in cinema novo and neorealism. He is the editor of Dreamscapes in Italian Cinema and The Spaces and Places of Horror. His main field of research encompasses comparative and transnational studies between Italian and foreign cinema, and his current interests include modern and contemporary horror film, Hallyu, and contemporary Korean cinema.
SHAILJA PATEL (she/her) is a queer feminist internationalist from Kenya. She is the author of Migritude, an Amazon poetry bestseller, currently taught in over 150 colleges and universities. Her poems have been translated into seventeen languages and feature in the Smithsonian Museum’s groundbreaking Beyond Bollywood exhibition. Her essays and commentaries appear in the Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique, and Internazionale, among others. Recent honors include a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship and a Global Feminist Spotlight from the Nobel Women’s Initiative. From 2019–2022, she was a research associate at Five College Women’s Studies Research Center in western Massachusetts.
DEESHA PHILYAW’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, the 2020 LA Times Book Prize, The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction fellow and a Baldwin for the Arts fellow.
SIAVASH SAADLOU is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer and literary translator. His short stories and essays have appeared in Malahat Review, Southeast Review, and Plenitude Magazine, among other journals. His poetry has been anthologized in Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora and Odes to Our Undoing: Writers Reflecting on Crisis. Saadlou is the winner of the 2023 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize and a recipient of the Cole Swensen Prize for Translation.
LILY SENDROFF, the program coordinator at the FCWSRC, is a Smith College alum whose research and writing largely engage questions of feminist economics, comparative political economy, and transnational feminisms.
SILKE STEINHILBER holds a Ph.D. in political science from the New School for Social Research and is based in Berlin, Germany. Since 2001, she engages with policymakers and grassroots organizations around the world on feminist social policies.
JET TOOMER is a writer, community organizer, and muse. She is a LAMBDA Literary Fellow. Her column entitled “Tiny Violences,” is a featured publication on the SubStack network. Jet is a co-founder of The Josie Club, a roving social space dedicated to celebrating queer Black women and femmes. Her writing has been featured in Inverse Magazine, Victory Journal, The Miami Herald, Full Bleed, and is forthcoming in Southern Cultures. She has received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. Jet is a native New Yorker and lives between Harlem and upstate New York.
ZOE TUCK was born in Texas, became a person in California, and now lives in western Massachusetts. She is the author of Bedroom Vowel and Terror Matrix, in addition to the chapbooks The Book of Bella, bound in a dos-a-dos edition with Emily Hunerwadel’s Peach Woman, and Vape Cloud of Unknowing. With Britt Billmeyer-Finn, she is the co-host of The But Also house reading series and she co-edits Hot Pink Magazine with Emily Bark Brown. She teaches classes on poetry, the literature of friendship, phenomenology, and creative reading.
ELISABET VELASQUEZ is a Boricua writer from Brooklyn now living in Jersey City. She is known for her poems, which have been featured on NBC, Telemundo, Latina Magazine, Refinery 29, and more. She is a Poets House fellow, Dodge Poetry fellow and New Jersey Council for the Arts fellow. Her debut young adult novel in verse, When We Make It, received the Kirkus best YA Fiction Award and the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults award. It went on to be a 2021 Goodreads Readers Choice Nominee, a 2022 Gotham Prize Finalist, and was named a New York Times Young Adult Books To Watch For. When she is not writing she is living the life she hopes to write about.
SANDRA WATERS is the managing editor of Italian Quarterly. Her recent publications include chapters and articles on Luther Blisset and Wu Ming, Paolo Sorrentino’s films in English, Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’s La briganta, and American horror film. She co-edited The Spaces and Places of Horror with Francesco Pascuzzi and is a co-editor of Other Voices of Italy for Rutgers University Press. She is currently writing a novel about a woman assassin.
PAMELA WAX is the author of Walking the Labyrinth and Starter Mothers. Her poems have received a Best of the Net nomination and awards/commendations from Crosswinds, Paterson Literary Review, Poets’ Billow, Oberon, The MacGuffin, Nimrod, Solstice, and the Robinson Jeffers Tor House. She has been published in literary journals including Barrow Street, Tupelo Quarterly, Chautauqua, Rust & Moth, Mudfish, Pedestal, Split Rock Review, Slippery Elm, Sixfold, and Passengers Journal. An ordained rabbi, Pam offers spirituality and poetry workshops online and around the country. She lives in the northern Berkshires of Massachusetts.
FRAN YU/嚼嚼 works with words, clay, and other earthly bodies. They graduated from the Creative Writing MFA program at Pratt Institute. Their work weaves through authoritarianisms in both violent and intimate structures. To them, collective survival means joy and resistance and art and rest with their people. Their writings and translations can be found in Wendy’s Subway Endless Playlist and Cha: an Asian Literary Journal. They are a co-founder and root worker of Chinese Artists and Organizers (CAO) Collective 离离草.
Born and raised in China’s industrial hub of Dongguan, HUIYIN ZHOU 徽音 (they/she) is a transnational, queer, and feminist organizer and community-based artist, writer, translator, and documentarian. Working with prose, documentary poetry, and digtal / film / Polaroid photography, huiyin speaks into the revolutionary politics of feminist living/rooms and imaginative intimacy/kinship beyond physical presence. They are building a Chinese queer feminist base in the triangle area, NC and NYC. Their original and translated works have been published by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Sine Theta Magazine, Margins, 《金土地, Shanghai Literature and Art Press, and Shanghai Far East/Yuandong Press. huiyin is a co-founder and co-director of Chinese Artists and Organizers (CAO) Collective 离离草. They also volunteered as an editor, translator, and proofreader for unCoVer initiative疫中人.