30 May 2006

Nicki Hastie Crosses The Pond to Woman-Stirred Radio

Nicki - in salute of armpitsIt is almost Thursday and that means Woman-Stirred Radio at 4pm (EST).

This week Merry Gangemi is thrilled to host Nicki Hastie, of Nottingham, UK, a Dyke whose take on the world of Lesbian writing is exuberating and exhilarating. Case in point: Nicki's poem, "Tender", written in April 2006.

I worked that summer with a host of dykes
and, newly-single, tended fertile growth
in more than one direction. Found my likes
accentuated in an armpit. Both,
to be precise. Their hairy hypnosis
informed imaginative dreams of lust.
Caressing feathered tufts, I knew a kiss
was preferential when wings free, robust.
So when the bed I truly nourished told
me that a cancer joined us there, we sobbed;
despaired; prepared to face our future bold.
And to this day you’ll say how you feel robbed
as lovers seeking ways to overcome
my urgent breath unfelt, your armpit numb.

Nicki was born in Hereford, UK in 1969. She completed her BA in English Literature and then an MA in "Modern Literature: Theory and Practice" at Leicester University. Nicki's research and published writings have focused on coming out stories, lesbian fiction and representations of lesbians in popular culture. Her published work includes:

"Lesbian Bibliomythography" in Gabriele Griffin (ed.) Outwrite: Lesbianism and Popular Culture London: Pluto Press (1993), pp.68-85

"It All Comes Out in the Wash: Lesbians in Soaps" Trouble & Strife No. 29/30 (Winter 1994/95): 33-38

With Sarah Porch & Lou Brown, "Doing it Ourselves: Promoting Women's Health as Feminist Action" in Gabriele Griffin (ed.) Feminist Activism in the 1990s London: Taylor & Francis (1995), pp.13-27

"Origins and Activities of a Self-Help Support Center in Nottingham, United Kingdom" International Journal of Self Help & Self Care 1.1 (1999-2000): 123-127

"Cultural Conceptions: Lesbian Parenting and Midwifery Practice" in Diane Fraser (ed.) Professional Studies for Midwifery Practice Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone (2000), pp.63-75

With Andrea Barker, "The Cancer Journals" Diva (Oct 2001): 8-9

"A Woman Shaved: a sign of what?" The Student Underground Issue 43 pdf version (May 2003): 13 (1999 article reproduced with permission - original article on Nicki's website at www.nickihastie.demon.co.uk)

Please join us this Thursday, June 1st, for an interview with Nicki Hastie. Tune in (91.1 fm) or stream it live at www.wgdr.org. Interview starts at 4:30 (EST). Air studio phone number: 802 454-7762.

28 May 2006

18th Annual Lambda Literary Awards

This report is from the Lambda Literary Foundation. . . . .more books for Woman-Stirred readers to add to their lists!

A crowd of over 200 booksellers, writers, editors, publicists, and readers gathered last night at the Equality Forum at the Human Rights Campaign to witness the presentation of the 18th Annual Lambda Literary Awards to the following recipients (nominees follow the list of winners):

Freedom in the Village: 25 Years of Black, Gay Men's Writing, ed. E. Lynn Harris (Carroll & Graf)

Belles Lettres
The Tricky Part by Martin Moran (Beacon Press)

February House by Sherrill Tippins (Houghton Mifflin)

Children's/Young Adult
Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai (Tundra Books)

Stolen Moments: Erotic Interludes 2, edited by Stacia Seaman and Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)

Gay Men's Debut Fiction
You Are Not the One by Vestal McIntyre (Carroll & Graf)

Gay Men's Fiction
The Sluts by Dennis Cooper (Carroll & Graf)

Gay Men's Mystery
One of These Things is Not Like the Others by D. Travers Scott (Suspect Thoughts)

Gay Men's Poetry
Crush by Richard Siken (Yale)

Don't Get too Comfortable by David Rakoff (Doubleday)

Lesbian Debut Fiction
The Beautifully Worthless by Ali Leibegott (Suspect Thoughts)

Lesbian Fiction
Babyji by Abha Dawesar (Anchor Books)
Wild Dogs by Helen Humphreys (W. W. Norton)

Lesbian Mystery
Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar de Alba (Arte Publico)

Lesbian Poetry
Directed by Desire: Collected Poems by June Jordan (Copper Canyon)

LGBT Studies
When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David by Susan Ackerman

Words to Our Now by Thomas Glave (Minnesota)

Silent Thunder by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)

Daughters of an Emerald Dusk by Katherine Forrest (Alyson Books)

Qu(e)erying Evangelism by Cheri DiNovo (The Pilgrim Press)

Choir Boy by Charlie Anders (Soft Skull Press)

In addition, Barbara Braden of Boxborough, MA was the winner of a raffle for a 2-person Olivia cruise to the Caribbean next January. The raffle raised over $4,000 for the Lambda Literary Awards.

Congressman Barney Frank received this year's Bridge Builder Award, and because of voting during the last session of Congress, he was unable to attend. His legislative aide, Joseph Racalto, accepted on his behalf.

Finalists for the 2005 Lambda Literary Awards (alphabetical by category):

Anthology Red Light: Superheroes, Saints, & Sluts, ed. Anna Camilleri (Arsenal Pulp Press) Lesbian Pulp Fiction, ed. Katherine Forrest (Cleis) Freedom in the Village: 25 Years of Black, Gay Men’s Writing, ed. E. Lynn Harris (Carroll & Graf) Everything I Have is Blue: Short Fiction by Working-Class Men, ed. Wendell Ricketts (Suspect Thoughts) Bullets and Butterflies: Queer Spoken Word Poetry, ed. Emanuel Xavier (Suspect Thoughts)

Belles Lettres Quicksands: A Memoir by Sybille Bedford (Counterpoint Press) Tab Hunter Confidential by Tab Hunter, with Eddie Muller (Algonquin) My One Night Stand with Cancer by Tania Katan (Alyson Books) The Tricky Part by Martin Moran (Beacon Press) When I Knew, edited by Robert Trachtenberg, illustrated by Tom Bachtell (Regan Books)

Biography The Fabulous Sylvester by Joshua Gamson (Henry Holt) Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin by John Geiger (The Disinformation Company) Beyond Recall by Mary Meigs and Lise Weil (Talonbooks) Wild Girls: Paris, Sappho, & Art by Diana Souhami (St. Martins) February House by Sherrill Tippins (Houghton Mifflin)

Children's/Young Adult Antonio's Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio by Rigoberto Gonzalez (Children’s Book Press) Totally Joe by James Howe (Simon & Schuster) And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell & Justin Richardson (Simon & Schuster) Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster) Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai (Tundra Books)

Erotica Best Gay Erotica 2006, ed. by Matt Bernstein Sycamore and Richard Labonte (Cleis) Best Lesbian Erotica 2006, ed. by Eileen Myles and Tristan Taormino (Cleis) Rode Hard But Away Wet: Lesbian Cowboy Erotica edited by Sacchi Green & Rakelle Valencia (Suspect Thoughts) Close Contact by Sean Wolfe (Kensington) Stolen Moments: Erotic Interludes 2, edited by Stacia Seaman and Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)

Gay Men’s Debut Fiction Setting the Lawn on Fire by Mack Friedman (Wisconsin) Mother of Sorrows by Richard McCann (Pantheon) The First Verse by Barry McCrea (Carroll & Graf) You Are Not the One by Vestal McIntyre (Carroll & Graf) Bilal's Bread by Sulyman X (Alyson)

Gay Men's Fiction The Sluts by Dennis Cooper (Carroll & Graf) German Officer’s Boy by Harlan Greene (Wisconsin) Faith for Beginners by Aaron Hamburger (Random House) What We Do is Secret by Kief Hillsbery (Villard) Acqua Calda by Keith McDermott (Carroll & Graf)

Gay Men's Mystery One of These Things is Not Like the Others by D. Travers Scott (Suspect Thoughts) The Actor’s Guide to Greed by Rick Copp (Kensington) The Paper Mirror by Dorien Grey (GLB Publishers) White Tiger by Michael Allen Dymmoch (St. Martins Minotaur) Cajun Snuff by W. Randy Haynes (Publish America)

Gay Men's Poetry School of the Arts by Mark Doty (HarperCollins) For Dust Thou Art by Timothy Lui (Southern Illinois) Sugar by Martin Pousson (Suspect Thoughts) Crush by Richard Siken (Yale) Blue on Blue Ground by Aaron Smith (Pittsburgh)
Humor Invasion of Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel, (Alyson Books) Juicy Mother by Jennifer Camper (Soft Skull Press) What the L ? by Kate Clinton (Carroll & Graf) Revenge of the Paste Eaters by Cheryl Peck (5 Spot, Warner Books) Don't Get too Comfortable by David Rakoff (Doubleday)

Lesbian Debut Fiction Crashing America by Katia Noyes (Alyson) Manstealing for Fat Girls by Michelle Embree (Soft Skull Press) The Beautifully Worthless by Ali Leibegott (Suspect Thoughts) In Too Deep by Ronica Black (Bold Strokes) Bliss by Fiona Zedde (Kensington)

Lesbian Fiction Babyji by Abha Dawesar (Anchor Books) Wild Dogs by Helen Humphrys (W. W. Norton) With or Without You by Lauren Sanders (Akashic) Five Books of Moses Lapinsky by Karen Tulchinsky (Raincoast Books) Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson (Harcourt)

Lesbian Mystery Women of Mystery edited by Katherine Forrest (Haworth) The Iron Girl by Ellen Hart (St. Martins Minotaur) Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar De Alba (Arte Publico) Darkness Descending by Penny Mickelbury (Kings Crossing) Justice Served by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)

Lesbian Poetry Where the Apple Falls by Samiya Bashir (redbone press) Directed by Desire: Collected Poems by June Jordan (Copper Canyon) Life Mask by Jackie Kay (Bloodaxe Books) New and Selected Poems, Volume II by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press) Eye of Water by Amber Flora Thomas (Pittsburgh)

LGBT Studies When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David by Susan Ackerman (Columbia) Zest for Life: Lesbians’ Experience of Menopause by Jennifer Kelly (Spinifex) Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch by Dwight A. McBride (NYU Press) Lesbian Communities Festivals, Rvs And the Internet, edited by Esther D. Rothblum and Penny Sablove (Harrington Park Press) Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West by Ruth Vanita (Palgrave Macmillan)

Nonfiction Gore Vidal’s America by Dennis Altman (Polity Press) Beyond the Down Low by Keith Boykin (Carroll & Graf) Words to Our Now by Thomas Glave (Minnesota) Raising Boys without Men by Peggy Drexler (Rodale) Women Together/Women Apart by Tirza True Latimer (Rutgers)

Romance Artist’s Dream by Gerri Hill (Bella Books) Just Like That by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books) The Price of Temptation by M. J. Pearson (Seventh Window) Distant Shores, Silent Thunder by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes) Walt Loves the Bearcat by Randy Boyd (West Beach Books)

Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Fledgling by Octavia Butler (Seven Stories) Shapers of Darkness by David B. Coe (Tor) Temple Landfall by Jane Fletcher (Bold Strokes) Daughters of an Emerald Dusk by Katherine Forrest (Alyson Books) No Sister of Mine by Jeanne G’Fellers (Bella Books)

Spirituality The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades by Munya Andrews (Spinifex) Qu(e)erying Evangelism by Cheri DiNovo (The Pilgrim Press). I Am This One Walking Beside Me by Daniel Gebhardt (The Pilgrim Press) Fumbling Toward Divinity by Craig Hickman (Annabessacook Farm)

Transgender/GenderQueer Choir Boy by Charlie Anders (Soft Skull Press) In a Queer Time and Place by Judith Halberstam (NYU Press) Deliver Me from Nowhere by Tennessee Jones (Soft Skull Press) Just Add Hormones by Matt Kailey (Beacon Press) The Riddle of Gender by Deborah Rudacille (Pantheon)

26 May 2006

In Memoriam - Dr. Fritz Klein

Dr. Fritz KleinDr. Fritz Klein, founder of the bisexual movement and inventor of The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, died during the early morning hours of May 24, 2006. He was a well-known sex researcher and a psychiatrist for over 30 years. He wrote several books, including The Bisexual Option (published in 1978, second edition 1993) which has been used as a text in sexuality courses. He was editor of The Journal of Bisexuality published by Haworth Press, a keynote speaker in demand at conferences and President of the Bisexual Foundation which sponsors bisexual conferences and BiMagazine.

He is most famous for inventing The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, a multi-dimensional system for describing the complexities of sexual orientation, similar to the Kinsey scale, but measuring seven different vectors of sexual orientation and identity and allowing for change over time.

Fritz Klein was one of my publishers, and paid more handsomely for my pieces in BiMagazine than any other publisher before or since. His support helped me value my writing and think of myself as a working writer with a worthwhile viewpoint. Though he was a man, he did a great deal for bisexual women like me. His own work and his support for research, for writing and for the bisexual community are part of what allowed me to form a strong bisexual identity and be proud of who I am. He will be missed.

Thank you, Fritz, and farewell.

~ Jan Steckel

24 May 2006

Elana Dykewomon on Woman-Stirred Radio

Please join us this Thursday, May 25th, at 4:30 pm (EST), on Woman-Stirred Radio, for an interview with Elana Dykewomon, author, poet, activist, and teacher, whose lesbian classic, Riverfinger Women (1974), captured the attention of the lesbian community, heralded her prolific body of work, and identified her as a writer of intelligence and insight.

Elana has also written Moon Creek Road (2003), Beyond the Pale (1997), Nothing Will Be as Sweet as the Taste: Selected poems 1974-1994 (1995), Fragments from Lesbos (1981), and They Will Know Me by My Teeth: Stories and poems of lesbian struggle, celebration, and survival (1976).

Dykewomon was editor of Sinister Wisdom from 1987 to 1995, and teaches, from time to time, at San Francisco State University.

Elana Nachman was born in NYC, in 1949; she changed her name to Dykewomon to identify herself as an indisputably committed cultural worker, and member of the lesbian community.

Elana Dykewomon has much to say about the complexities of lesbian life and community, and its location within the ongoing struggles for personal and political freedom in a global culture of violence and exploitation.

So join us, this Thursday, May 25th 4:30 (EST) for an interview with Elana Dykewomon. And please feel free to call in. Join the discussion and share your thoughts. 802.454.7762.

Woman-Stirred Radio 91.1 fm (Goddard College) and at: www.WGDR.org.

19 May 2006

The Underwater Hospital

Eugene DavidEugene David is a Berkeley writer, poet, and philosopher who has seven chapbooks of poetry. He is an advocate of Permaculture and sustainable strategies for a viable future for the earth. The back cover of his latest book, A Ground of Hope to Stand On, states: "For those who have already seen the urgency of returning to a culture of the earth and its care, these poems will hopefully serve as comfort and guidance." Click here for Eugene David's website.

The following is Eugene David's review of Jan Steckel's new chapbook, The Underwater Hospital.

In her first collection of poems, The Underwater Hospital, Jan Steckel relates her ancestral heritage traced back to her great-great grandfathers in Riga. And now in a distant land and a distant time she demonstrates that this heritage is alive and well in her own writing. We can be grateful she heeded her grandmother’s admonition:

“You must write!” and
“Don’t waste your life cooking, honey,
it’s all over in ten minutes.”

This initial book might be slim in the number of pages and poems, but it is packed with a power that makes it a weighty volume indeed. She tells her stories in finely detailed, but concise accounts of her life experiences, the gravity of which might have been shrugged off by souls with less sensitivity.

She demonstrates that her years of experience as a pediatrician did not succeed in making her jaded and numb as is so often the case. On the contrary, her intense awareness of the ironies of medicine and its sometimes inevitable failings is apparent from the outset with "Dios Le Bendiga", the opening piece, continues with "Three Little Sisters", and then comes to a head with "Swallowing Flies" in which she skillfully juxtaposes the absurdity of medical procedures gone mad with an old wise folktale, “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. / I don’t know why…”

I have had the pleasure of hearing Jan read many of these poems at local readings, but seeing them in print has given me an enhanced sense of their depth and power. However, one poem I had not yet heard, "In the Bleak Midwinter", grabbed onto me with a vengeance and quickly became my favorite. In this powerful poem, she not only relates her alienation at the elitist Harvard University, but redeems herself from the experience with grace and precision:

All I remembered from my faraway home
blazed like canyon fires in the bleak midwinter,
bloomed like bougainvillea in snowbound Boston.
Lullabies sung by all my Mexican nannies drowned out
those harsh Yankee accents of Southie, Lowell and

Take that, frat boys! Masterful.

But the real genius in the poem is the actual ending which immediately follows those lines, and is prepped by the following prior and carefully crafted build-up:

The Titanic had collided with an iceberg and Harry Widener
couldn’t swim away, so we got Widener Library.
Tom Lamont of the Lamonts practiced in
the Lowell House catacombs…
If one of the ten-ton Russian bells splintered from its beam,
plummeted through the floors below it, and crushed Tom,
would we get another library?
November suicides frozen in the Charles River
waited for spring thaw to float them up among the sailboats.

And now back to the final 3 lines of the poem:

banishing from my teenage dreams
the ice on the Charles cracking
and the cold bells creaking.

If I had to pick, this poem would probably be in the top ten of any I have ever read. It’s right up there with Robert Hass’s masterpiece poem, "Interrupted Meditation".

This is beautiful and moving work. My only warning: be prepared to have your heart torn to pieces. But you will be rewarded with a new sense of compassion.

The Underwater Hospital ($5) by Jan Steckel is available world-wide from Zeitgeist Press.

18 May 2006

Jane Rule on Woman-Stirred Radio

Please join us today on Woman-Stirrred Radio for an interview with Jane Rule, an extraordinary writer gifted with clarity, compassion, and humor. Tune in for music from 4pm EST, interview from 4:30pm.

Rule's elegant novels have graced the world since her first novel, Desert of the Heart, was published in 1965. Since then, Jane Rule has written and published numerous novels, short stories, and essays, including:

Lesbian Images, Theme for Diverse Instruments, After the Fire, Memory Board, Hot-eyed Moderate, Inland Passage, and Contract with the World.

Jane Rule was born in Plainfield, NJ (1931) and graduated from Millls College in 1952. She has lived and worked in Canada for over 40 years.

Rule writes about a world of diversity and the seemingly small acts of courage that speak volumes to the quiet, persistent struggle of all people to understand their world and to share that understanding with others.

Tune in to Woman-Stirred Radio and share the world!! www.WGDR.org. Call in and share your thoughts 802.454.7762.

14 May 2006

Declare Peace for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United States and Venezuela.

Here at Woman-Stirred, we acknowledged the different celebrations of Mother's Day across the world when we announced the winner of our Mother Poetry Contest on Mothering Sunday in the UK. Read the celebrations of motherhood from:

Mother's Day in the United States was first proclaimed in 1870 in Boston by Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, and Howe called for it to be observed each year nationally in 1872. Howe's "Mother's Day" was a call for pacifism and disarmament by women. In May 2006, the call for peace continues with a 24-hour vigil to reclaim Mother's Day as a day to work for peace.

The original Mother's Day Proclamation was as follows:

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

10 May 2006

Latest news from Woman-Stirred Radio

We're sorry to let you know that for one week only, on Thursday 11 May, Merry Gangemi's Woman-Stirred Radio show has had to be cancelled. The interview with Robin Williams will therefore be postponed until later in the year.

Rest assured, Merry will be back on 18 May for more music and a guest interview with novelist, critic and short story writer, Jane Rule. Jane Rule's first novel, Desert of the Heart (1964), was made into the 1986 lesbian cult film Desert Hearts.

Please listen in to Woman-Stirred Radio on WDGR 91.1fm Goddard College community radio, broadcasting from Plainfield in Vermont, and streaming live (4pm-6pm EST) at www.wgdr.org.

3 May 2006

Minnie Bruce Pratt on Woman-Stirred Radio

Please join Woman-Stirred Radio, this Thursday, May 4th at 4:30pm EST for an interview with Minnie Bruce Pratt.

Minnie Bruce was born September 12, 1946, in Selma, Alabama. She graduated from segregated Bibb County High School and attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, a year after George Wallace 'stood in the schoolhouse door'. She completed a Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In addition to her academic training, Minnie Bruce was educated by the great liberation struggles of the 20th century ----through grass-roots organizing with women in the army-base town of Fayetteville, NC, and through teaching at historically Black universities.

Her books of poetry include: The Dirt She Ate: Selected and New Poems, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry; Walking Back Up Depot Street, which was named book of the year by ForeWord magazine in the Gay/Lesbian category and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry; Crime Against Nature, which was chosen as the Academy's Lamont Poetry Selection, received the American Library Association Gay and Lesbian Book Award for Literature; We Say We Love Each Other; and a chapbook, The Sound of One Fork.

Join Merry Gangemi and Minnie Bruce Pratt, this Thursday May 4th @ 4:30pm EST on Woman-Stirred Radio. Only on WGDR 91.1 fm Community radio for Central Vermont and the rest of the world!

Music from 4 to 4:30. Interview begins at 4:30 pm.