Beginning with the second issue of Volume 24, Feminist Formations began a permanent section of the journal devoted to contemporary feminist poetry. We call it “Poesía.” We wanted to push at the bounds of academic knowledge production to make space for creative writers whose work can help us to see, learn, and experience from fresh angles. Following the work of both Raymond Williams and Audre Lorde, we believe that “Poetry Is Not a Luxury” but a technique of feminist worldmaking.
Issue 33.1 features the poetry from Asia Johnson who is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. She is a 2019 Right of Return Fellow as well as a winter 2019 Room Project Fellow. Her chapbook, An Exorcism, was released in 2018, and her upcoming directorial debut, Out of Place, will be released in 2021.
Issue 32.3 featured the poetry from Cameron Awkward-Rich, Juan Miera, Sav Schaluderaff, Jo Teut, and Rebecca Ruth Gould.
Cameron Awkward-Rich is a poet and scholar of transgender theory and cultural production. He is the author of two poetry collections, Sympathetic Little Monster (2016) and Dispatch (2019), and his scholarly writing has been published in Signs, Transgender Studies Quarterly, American Quarterly, and elsewhere. Awkward-Rich is an assistant professor of women, gender, sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Juan Miera is a retired academic who continues to explore the intersections of language, queerness, and Latinidad through short film and creative writing. He remains active in professional circles with invited lectures on queer pedagogy and is currently working on a feature-length, grant-funded documentary on the ways in which queer people of color experience and embody masculinity.
Sav Schlauderaff (they/them) is a disabled, queer, trans, and ace PhD student at the University of Arizona in gender and women’s studies. Their research focuses are critical disability studies, trauma studies, and health communication.
Jo Teut serves as the director of diversity and experience at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast after working in diversity, equity, and inclusion at Centre College and the University of Wisconsin Colleges and Extension (now defunct). Teut coedited an issue of New Directions in Community Colleges titled “Representation, Space, and Place: Creating Access and Support for LGBTQIA+ Students” (2019) and published an article on asexuality inclusion within that issue. They have also published and presented on asexuality and transgender inclusion. Teut’s academic, activist, and advocacy interests are in queer rural sociology and criminology studies; asexuality, queer, and transgender studies; and queer representations in American literature. Teut earned a MA in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and a BA in English and Spanish from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, their hometown.
Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of the poetry collection Cityscapes (2019) and the award-winning monograph Writers & Rebels (2016). She has translated many books from Persian and Georgian, including After Tomorrow the Days Disappear (2016), The Death of Bagrat Zakharych and other Stories (2019), and High Tide of the Eyes (2019). A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was a finalist for the Luminaire Award for Best Poetry (2017) Lunch Ticket’s Gabo Prize (2017) and Beechmore Books Arts Journalism Competition (2020), and winner of Asian Signature’s award for Best Translation (2020).
Issue 32.2 featured the poetry of Rita Wong. She is the author of five books of poetry and is an associate professor in the Faculty of Culture and Community at Emily Carr University of Art and Design on the unceded Coast Salish territories, also known as Vancouver. She coedited the anthology downstream: reimagining water (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2017) with Dorothy Christian.
Issue 32.1 featured the poetry from Tiana Reid, Lisa L. Moore, and Cecily Parks.
Tiana Reid is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University where she is working on a dissertation that sits at the intersection of Black studies, Marxism, and feminism. Her writing has appeared in American Quarterly, Art in America, Bookforum, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Vice, Vulture, and elsewhere.
Lisa L. Moore is Archibald A. Hill Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, where she serves as director of the LGBTQ Studies Program. She is the author or editor of five books, including Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscapes, which won the Lambda Literary Award. She also published the poetry chapbook 24 Hours of Men (Dancing Girl Press, 2018).
Cecily Parks is the author of the poetry collections Field Folly Snow (2008) and O’Nights (2015), and editor of The Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows, and Grasses (2016). Her poems appear in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Best American Poetry 2020, and elsewhere.
Issue 31.3 featured the poetry of Carmen Giménez Smith. Smith is a 2019 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of eight books, including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry and most recently, Be Recorder, published by Graywolf Press.
Zoë Brigley is an assistant professor of English and sexuality studies at The Ohio State University. She has three collections of poetry: The Secret, Conquest, and Hand & Skull, which between them have won an Eric Gregory Award for the best UK poets under 30, three UK Poetry Book Society Recommendations, and the longlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize for international writers under 40.
Victoria Brookland is an English artist who has been painting and exhibiting for over twenty years and has spent the past few years exploring the lives and writing of nineteenth century women. Her first series of Brontë-inspired paintings, Secret Self, was exhibited at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, while others appeared in the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate, London.
Issue 31.1 featured the poetry of Melissa Tennyson who is a queer feminist poet and adjunct ESOL instructor based in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has appeared in ZNet Creative, Voices in Wartime website, Poets against the War website, In Our Words: A Journal about Women, Meghbarta: Online Forum for Activism, Landescapes, and Re-Visions: Women, Art, Activism.
Issue 30.3 featured the poetry of Amir Rabiyah who is a trans and two-spirit disabled queer femme poet and writing coach. Amir writes about living with chronic pain and illness, war, trauma, spirituality, healing, redemption--and speaks on silenced places.
Issue 30.2 featured the poetry of Margaret Rhee who is a poet, new media artist, and scholar. She is the author of Love, Robot (The Operating System, 2017) named a 2017 Best Book of Poetry by Entropy Magazine, awarded an Elgin Award by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and the 2019 Book Prize in Poetry by the Asian American Studies Association.
Issue 30.1featured the poetry from Dr. Qwo-Li Driskill who is a noncitizen Cherokee Two-Spirit writer, performer, and activist also of African, Irish, Lenape, Lumbee, and Osage ascent. S/he is the author of Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory (2016) and Walking with Ghosts: Poems (2005). S/he is associate professor of queer studies and director of Graduate Studies in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Oregon State University.
Issue 29.3 featured the poetry of Minal Hajratwala, whose books include Leaving India: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents, Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment, and Out! Stories from the New Queer India. She co-founded The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective and created Write Like a Unicorn to help writers tap their magic.
Issue 29.2 featured poetry by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, who is a Black feminist love evangelist of Afro-Caribbean ascendance who lives in Durham, North Carolina. Alexis is the founder of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind. She is widely published in the fields of Black feminist literature, mothering and diaspora. She is the author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity and the co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines.
Issue 28.3 featured poetry by Elizabeth Johnston who uses her writing to grapple with mythologies of gender and sexuality.
Issue 28.2 featured poetry by Alli Warren, whose writing has appeared in many journals and magazines, including Poetry, Jacket, The Brooklyn Rail, and Rethinking Marxism. She co-curated The (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand, co-edited the Poetic Labor Project, and edited Dreamboat magazine.
Issue 27.3 featured poetry by Sarah Xerta, the author of the poetry collection Nothing to Do with Me (2015) and the chapbooks RED PAPER HEART (2013), JULIET (I) (2014), and JULIET (II), which was one of the winners of the Nostrovia! Poetry Chapbook Contest.
Issue 27.2 featured poetry by Dana Maya who grew up in Colorado and spent extensive periods in Veracruz, Mexico. She did graduate studies in Chican@ literature and culture and queer theory at the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she has taught writing at Madison College. She currently works at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is active in political and public-writing projects, such as the Spontaneous Writing Booth.
Issue 27.1 featured poetry by Christina A. Lux whose poetry has appeared in journals like North Dakota Quarterly and Women’s Studies Quarterly, on NPR, and in various anthologies
Issue 26.3 featured poetry by Laura Pichardo-Cruz, a poverty lawyer of 10 years who lives in Orlando with her wife and two daughters.
Issue 26.2 featured poetry by Rachel Jennings, an English instructor at San Antonio College and volunteer at Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. Jennings received her B.A. from the University of Tennessee, before earning her M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Texas at Austin. She has published three books of poetry: Hedge Ghosts (2001), Elijah’s Farm (2008), and Knoxville Girl: The Walk to the River (2011). Her poem “Going Places” appeared in Improbable Worlds: An Anthology of Texas and Louisiana Poets (2011). In addition, her work has appeared in the Texas Observer, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, San Antonio Express-News, Austin Chronicle, La Voz de Esperanza, Appalachian Journal, and other publications.
Issue 26.1 featured poetry by Margaret Randall who spent almost a quarter century in Latin America (Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua), before returning to the United States in 1984 only to be ordered deported because the government alleged her writing to be “beyond the good order and happiness of the United States.” She won her case in 1989. She lives in the Albuquerque, New Mexico of her youth with her partner of twenty-seven years, visual artist Barbara Byers. She has four children and ten grandchildren scattered throughout the world. Among Randall’s most recent books are Che on My Mind; More than Things: Essays As If the Empty Chair / Como si la silla vacia; The Rhizome as a Field of Broken Bones; and Daughter of Lady Jaguar Shark. She travels widely to lecture and read.
Issue 25.3 featured poetry by TC Tolbert, a genderqueer, feminist poet and teacher. S/he is Assistant Director of Casa Libre, adjunct instructor at University of Arizona and Pima Community College, and wilderness instructor at Outward Bound. Co-editor, along with Tim Trace Peterson, of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, s/he is also author of spirare, territories of folding, and the forthcoming Gephyromania. Thanks to Movement Salon and the Architects, TC keeps showing up and paying attention. Gloria Anzaldúa said, Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks. John Cage said, it’s lighter than you think. S/he may be reached at www.tctolbert.com.
Issue 25.2 featured Evie Shockley, the author of two books of poetry—most recently, the new black (2011), winner of the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry—and a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011). Her poetry and essays appear widely in journals and anthologies. Recipient of the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize, Shockley’s creative and critical work has been supported by such institutions as the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Cave Canem Foundation, Hedgebrook, the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Her current research concerns poetics at the intersection of contemporary (fictional) narratives of slavery and visual culture; she is also at work on a post-apocalyptic long poem. She is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
In Issue 25.1, Albuquerque-based poet Cathy Arellano presented three poems. A San Francisco Mission District native, Arellano writes about growing up brown, coming out queer, and living as true as she can, which is kind of crooked. Her chapbook, I Love My Women, Sometimes They Love Me, published in 2002 by Monkey Books sold out, and she looks forward to Kórima Press publishing her poetry and prose collection, Salvation on 24th Street, in fall 2013. Her work has been published in various anthologies, journals, and blogs.
Issue 24.3 featured three poems from Natalie Diaz, author of When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012), which was honored as a Lannan Literary Selection. Diaz’s poetry reflects her life experiences on the Fort Mojave Reservation where she was born and raised, and where she now directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program.
We inaugurated “Poesía” with four poems by the fierce poet Niki Herd. As former co-editor Adela C. Licona writes, “we find her poetry at once historic and contemporary, rage-filled and justice-seeking, brutal, and humane. In a word, her work is honest.” You can read more of Herd’s poetry in her debut book The Language of Shedding Skin (Main Street Rag, 2010).