We've got a publishing internship opening on the business side of Bitch in early July at our Portland office and would LOVE it if you could help us spread the word (or apply)! We're accepting applications now, and will be doing interviews later this month on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
VIDA: Women in Literary Arts recently released several large pie charts comparing how women and men are published in some of the largest literary magazines—who's reviewing books, whose books are being reviewed, and who's being interviewed. Out of 40 charts, women outnumbered men on only two of them.
I started this series with a strained and cheesy Doctor Who reference, and today's title was me finishing with one ("Silence in the Library," for those playing at home). Let's try and move on from my sparkling wit to discuss which kinds of books and writers get to grace bookshelves, and the social and economic processes governing this. Who gets published and who does not? Whose work gets preserved? Who gets into libraries and bookstores? Who gets to be an icon?
The first box-o-Buzz (our spring issue!) arrived in our Portland office yesterday! It was so exciting we felt bad holding out on our readers, and have posted a sneak peek of our 43rd issue! But read on...we want your feedback!
Don't forget to fill it out! This survey, which will stay up until December 31st, is our way of gathering feedback and actively incorporating responses and direction from our supporters for the future of Bitch. By filling out this survey, you are participating in that process--now is your chance to be heard!
This morning in my in box was an e-mail titled, "An Open Letter to the South End Press Community." I clicked right on it, before I read my daily-headlines e-mail or the note from Debbie asking my opinion on a Very Important Matter—and even before I read the note from the boy I am currently most crushed out on. Because I am a member of their Community Supported Publishing program, which means I get a copy of every single book they publish as a thank-you for my monthly donation, and that's how much I love South End, the publisher of some of the most important political books being pubished today. Just to make sure you know.
If you're not already familiar with South End, you should get to know them right now. They are, as their letter notes, "the nation's only unapologetically radical, feminist, mission-driven, and majority women of color publishing collective." Their list is tremendous: big names like bell hooks, Vandana Shiva, and Howard Zinn, plus less well-known but no less important books from Incite!, Andrea Smith, Kristian Williams, and many more.
Shortly before the birth of my first child nine years ago, while browsing the bookstore for mommy wisdom, I discovered Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year and fell in love with the author and the book. More than any parenting truisms the book might have contained, it was Lamott’s writing style—funny, self-deprecating, and brutally honest—that kept me reading. The big mommy insight I gleaned from Operating Instructions was that I wasn’t quite as neurotic as Anne, so my kid and I would probably be all right.
Bitch’s relationship with that crazy series of tubes known as the Internet has been marked by emotions ranging from mild curiosity to passionate indifference. The magazine was born in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay Area, which was also ground zero for much web-
related hoopla—Wired, Yahoo!, and the short-lived Future Sex magazine, among other entities. From a zeitgeist perspective, our little paper zine was in exactly the right place at exactly the wrong time.
When we heard that Jane Pratt, the former editor of Sassy—the sharp, celebrated teen mag that above all was absolutely unwilling to pull its readers into the spiral of insecurity and product consumption so endemic to all others in the genre—was launching a new grown-up glossy, we, along with other feminist pop culture junkies nationwide, squealed with excitement. Then Jane launched. And we weren’t excited anymore. Here’s why.