Annual Report 2022

September 2022

Dear Sisters,

I am pleased to publish Sinister Wisdom's annual report for Fiscal Year 21-22, beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic continued during 2021, along with economic uncertainty in the United States and the world, coupled with continued war, violence, and attacks on human rights. There are many challenges and much brokenness in our world. Yet at Sinister Wisdom we continue to believe in the power of literature and art as tools of transformation for ourselves and the worlds around us. During this past year, Sinister Wisdom published four issues of the journal, including one Sapphic Classic, as well as a special chapbook. Sinister Wisdom also continued to have a full season of zoom events that gather women together to experience the joy of lesbian imagination and creativity.

Sinister Wisdom's published issues in 2021-2022 were: Sinister Wisdom 121: Eruptions of Inanna in July, Sinister Wisdom 122: Writing Communities in October, Sinister Wisdom 123: A Tribute to Conditions in January 2022, and the final issue of the Oral Herstorians Collection, written, edited, and compiled by the Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory Project: Sinister Wisdom 124: Deeply Held Beliefs in April 2022. On top of the quarterly issues, Sinister Wisdom also published a new chapbook by poet Chrystos, Her Eyes Are My Home, in December of 2021, and distributed copies of Chrystos's powerful poetry collection Fire Power as a bonus to all subscribers. These Sinister Wisdom issues explore feminist histories, ideologies, mythologies, different identities, and questions. Each issue provides readers a platform to connect and challenge our ways of thinking and being. These issues also gave us beautiful images and stories to enjoy. Without the efforts of the wonderful guest editors and volunteers involved with these issues, their publication would not be possible. Every publication represents an immense amount of time, passion, and dedication for which everyone at Sinister Wisdom is grateful!

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sinister Wisdom has gathered virtually to celebrate Sinister Wisdom issue launches, book clubs, director discussions, and other arts and cultural events. Through the zoom technology, Sinister Wisdom has had a greater potential to gather peoples and ideas into a Sinister Wisdom community. While we may all be experiencing screen fatigue, this format remains the most effective and inclusive way to reach and hear from all of you! With each season came a thrilling launch event where writers gathered to read and celebrate the memory and spirit of their works. This year we also hosted events to honor historic lesbian organizations like the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance and discussions that highlighted lesbian communities like Womontown. Through these zoom events, we hoped to expose new audiences to lesbian herstory and to honor and gather the wimmin whose efforts resulted in movements and organizations worth celebrating!

Here are a few examples of the events Sinister Wisdom organized between July 2021 and June 2022:

Eruptions of Inanna Launch and Celebration with Judy Grahn

A Conversation About Frances Clayton

A conversation between Clare Coss, Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, and Cheryl Clarke about Frances Clayton. Frances Clayton was a lesbian who came out in the middle of the twentieth century and lived unapologetically. She was also the longtime partner of poet Audre Lorde.

The Launch and Reading of Sinister Wisdom 123: A Tribute to Conditions

This event, featuring Cheryl Clarke and Shromona Mandal, included readings from Clarke, Jewelle Gomez, Dorothy Allison, SaraEllen Strongwoman, and Mariana Romo-Carmona.

Once a Fury Discussion Featuring Director Jacqueline Rhodes

Womontown Discussions with Director Sandy Woodson and Womontown Founders Maryann Hopper and Drea Nedelsky

Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory Project Virtual Celebration and Tribute

All events from July 2021 to July 2022 can be found on the Sinister Wisdom youtube channel!

We are humbled by all the support from our lesbian community, in all forms, over this last fiscal year. In total, Sinister Wisdom raised over $63,000. Sinister Wisdom's three sources of income are donations, subscriptions, and sales. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, Sinister Wisdom received $21,224 from donations, $27,888 from subscriptions, and $9,823 from sales. Sinister Wisdom's expenses come in six categories: Postage, Printing, Production, Promotion, Office, and Organization; costs in those categories are detailed in the financial statement below. A full statement of revenue and expenses for the organization as of June 30, 2022, the end of our fiscal year, is attached.

As the new fiscal year began, our beloved editor and publisher emerita, Elana Dykewomon, died. Her legacy inspires us to plan for another year of celebrating lesbian words and lesbian lives. Sinister Wisdom celebrated the publication of Sinister Wisdom 125: Glorious Defiance with a special episode of Sinister Wisdom's podcast Spoken Violets. We have already announced Sinister Wisdom's 2022-2023 season of Zoom events; more on these special events to come. The organizing power of lesbians, as evidenced by the sustenance of Sinister Wisdom, emboldens me to believe in a future where lesbian arts will continue to thrive, maintain cultural and political power, and bring people together.

Thank you for your generous support of Sinister Wisdom. May we revel in the impending production and successes of Sinister Wisdom's year to come!

In sisterhood,

Julie R. Enszer, PhD
Editor and Publisher, Sinister Wisdom


"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