Wil­son Leads the Fem­i­nist Press

Poets and Writers - - Trends - –JEN­NIFER BAKER

In this po­lit­i­cal and so­cial cli­mate, what kinds of books are push­ing this con­ver­sa­tion for­ward and pro­mot­ing ac­tion? This has been a con­sis­tent part of FP’s mis­sion, and that’s why we’re pre­pared to speak truth to power through our books and voices in the midst of at­tacks on free ex­pres­sion and the rise of au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism, misog­yny, and racial vi­o­lence. We pub­lish books other pub­lish­ers deem “too risky,” “con­tro­ver­sial,” or “rad­i­cal.” We’ve made ef­forts to lift up queer voices with our Amethyst Edi­tions im­print and women and non­bi­nary folks of color with our Louise Meri­wether Prize. Our non­fic­tion books are mainly ac­tivist-based. We re­sist the re­in­force­ment of re­spectabil­ity pol­i­tics, as well as the pro­mo­tion of nar­ra­tives that ap­pear to pro­mote so­cial progress but only in a way that’s palat­able or val­i­dat­ing to op­pres­sive power struc­tures—and only at the price of con­tin­u­ing to marginal­ize com­mu­ni­ties that are of­ten si­lenced, in­vis­i­ble, or un­der­mined. Some of our re­cent ti­tles in­clude Bron­tez Pur­nell’s Since I Laid My Bur­den Down, a novel about grow­ing up gay in 1980s Alabama, and Ju­niper Fitzger­ald and Elise Peter­son’s forth­com­ing How Ma­mas Love Their Ba­bies, a pic­ture book that shows how di­verse moth­ers work in dif­fer­ent ways to take care of their chil­dren, from do­mes­tic la­bor to sex work.

There has been an in­crease in on­line-only fem­i­nist pub­li­ca­tions. Do you fore­see po­ten­tial part­ner­ships to bring fur­ther vis­i­bil­ity to FP’s work?

We reach out to writ­ers or artists who have got­ten their start on­line if we’re in­ter­ested in creat­ing a book with them, like with Makeda Lewis’s Avie’s Dreams: An Afro-Fem­i­nist Color­ing Book and The Crunk Fem­i­nist Col­lec­tion. Many of the fem­i­nist writ­ers and artists we work with have ro­bust on­line com­mu­ni­ties and serve as nat­u­ral am­bas­sadors for their la­bor and wis­dom. We have other up­com­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions with the Wel­lRead Black Girl Fes­ti­val, Soul Camp, the To­gether Live tour, the Sis­terSong con­fer­ence, Howard Univer­sity, and the March for Black Women. We want to be a part of fem­i­nist con­ver­sa­tions on- and off­line and to lift up re­mark­able and stun­ning sto­ry­telling.

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