Black Lesbians: We are the Revolution!

Black Lesbians: We are the Revolution!
Call for Submissions

Edited by JP Howard with Amber Atiya

Deadline to submit: December 31, 2016 EXTENDED to 01/21/2017!

Anticipated publication date: October 15, 2017

Editor JP Howard with Amber Atiya seek creative work by womyn who self-identify as black lesbians for a special issue of Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and arts journal. This issue celebrates the lives of black lesbians.

We seek creative work from black lesbian writers and invite you to bring all the parts of yourself to the page. This issue is inspired by legendary black lesbian poet, Pat Parker, who once said: “The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution." This issue aims to create a revolution of words. Black lesbian writers are invited to document their unique, powerful and diverse voices. We want writing that celebrates and documents the lived experiences of black lesbians. Suggested topics/themes include, but are not limited to, writing about your voice, gender, Herstory, politics, parental status, sexuality, disability, mental health, spirituality, brilliant minds and your relationship to community and chosen family. We also seek work that honors the memory of black lesbians who are no longer with us, in particular, those who were the victims of homo/transphobia, racism, ageism, and were taken from us too soon. Let us honor their memory in this issue. All genres are welcome, including poetry, fiction, memoir, creative and academic non-fiction, short essays, visual arts and book reviews. Material must not have been previously published (this includes website and personal blogs).

Sinister Wisdom is interested particularly in work that reflects the diversity of our experiences: as lesbians of color, multiracial lesbians, ethnic lesbians, Jewish lesbians, Arab lesbians, old lesbians, young lesbians, working class lesbians, poverty class lesbians, gender queer lesbians, butch lesbians, masculine of center lesbians, androgynous lesbians, femme lesbians, trans lesbians, disabled lesbians, and fat Lesbians.

"If I could take all my parts with me when I go somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, “No, you stay home tonight, you won’t be welcome,” because I’m going to an all-white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or I’m going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are antihomosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution."
--Pat Parker

JP Howard aka Juliet P. Howard is a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is the author of SAY/MIRROR, a debut poetry collection published by The Operating System (2015) and a chaplet "bury your love poems here" (Belladonna Collaborative*, 2015). SAY/MIRROR has been nominated as a Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. JP curates and nurtures Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS), a forum offering women writers at all levels a monthly venue to come together in a positive and supportive space. She is the recipient of a 2016 Brooklyn Arts Council grant on behalf of the Salon, which celebrates a diverse array of women poets and includes a large LGBTQ POC membership. JP is an alum of the VONA/Voices Writers Workshop, as well as a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow. She was a finalist in The Feminist Wire’s 2014 1st Poetry Contest and in the poetry category for the Lesbian Writer's Fund of Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Her poems and/or essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Apogee Journal, The Feminist Wire, Split this Rock, Nepantla: A Journal for Queer Poets of Color, Muzzle Magazine, Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women, The Best American Poetry Blog, MiPOesias, The Mom Egg, Talking Writing, Connotation Press and the anthology, Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin & Marissa Alexander. JP holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York.

Amber Atiya is a multidisciplinary poet whose creative practice incorporates elements of performance, book arts, and visual arts. Her work has appeared in various journals including Boston Review, PEN America, and Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and is forthcoming in the Bettering American Poetry Anthology and Dismantled Almosts: A 21st Century Anthology of Female Poets. She has received fellowships and residencies from Poets House and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Amber’s poems have been nominated for Best New Poets 2015 and selected for Best of the Net 2014. A proud native Brooklynite, she is a member of a women’s writing group that will be celebrating 15 years in 2017. Her chapbook the fierce bums of doo-wop (Argos Books) was chosen for The Volta’s Best Books of 2014.

Submission deadline is: December 31, 2016.

Submissions via submittable.

Email: with questions.

Please use the following guidelines to submit:

1. For submissions other than poetry: Microsoft Word or compatible file, one-inch margins, 12 pt font, Times New Roman, double-spaced.

2. For Poetry: Submit up to 3 poems in a SINGLE file.

3. A 75 word maximum author bio is required.

4. Include author contact information. Must include name, email and preferred phone contact

5. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but MUST be withdrawn immediately if accepted elsewhere.

6. We only publish previously unpublished work (this includes websites and personal blogs).

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

― Leslie Feinberg

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven