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Board of Directors

A photo of Roberta Arnold smiling and wearing a fedora

Roberta Arnold is an old 70s lesbian-feminist writer, once radical rabble-rouser, now partially disabled volunteer, writing book reviews for Sinister Wisdom; and doing what she can do to make creative lesbian energy rattle and erupt. She believes in open dialogue with alliances: power hand-in-hand with experiencing love. She has co-authored and assembled a group of five women’s voices in 1971 Dyke Outlaw Roadtrip, published in Sinister Wisdom 95, Reconciliations, gifted to the Sophia Smith Collection Archives: Women in the Twentieth Century: Lesbian Feminism. She has co-authored A Tribute to June Arnold: Art is Politics: June Davis Arnold (1927-1981), Author, Mother, Publisher, Carpenter, Partner, Political-Activist. By Her Daughters (Roberta and Fairfax) was published in Sinister Wisdom 85, Once and Later. She first published a story in 1970 in Ain’t I A Woman, Iowa City Press Collective, now archived in Duke University Lesbian Feminist Periodicals and Magazines: A Gay Fairytale, about a woman named Snowshoe who abandoned the royal family she was born into, choosing to belong to a family of working-class women cave-dwellers. She has given readings in San Francisco and NYC from some of her short stories. Her writing mentors are Grace Paley who became more of a friend than a writing mentor at Sarah Lawrence College and June Arnold who was simply her first love.

A photo of Tara Burke smiling.

Tara Shea Burke is a poet and teacher from the Blue Ridge Mountains and Hampton Roads, Virginia. She's a writing instructor, tutor, editor, and yoga teacher who has taught and lived in Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado. She believes in community building, encouragement, and practice-based living, writing, teaching, being, and art. Find more about her work and http://www.tarasheaburke.com.

A photo of Cheryl Clarke smiling.

Cheryl Clarke is a black lesbian feminist poet and author of six books of poetry: Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women (Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, 1982), Living as a Lesbian (1986), Humid Pitch(1989), Experimental Love (1993)—each from Firebrand Books, most recently By My Precise Haircut (Word Works Press, 2016), and the chapbooks, Your Own Lovely Bosom (2014) and Targets (2018). The critical study After Mecca: Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement (Rutgers Press) and her collected works, The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry 1980-2005 (Carroll and Graff) were published in 2005 and 2006 respectively. She co-edited with Steven G. Fullwood in 2008 To Be Left with the Body, a literary publication of the AIDS Project Los Angeles for men of color who have sex with men. Living as a Lesbian was reprinted by Sinister Wisdom and Midsummer Night Presses as a Sapphic Classic in 2015. Thanks to Julie R. Enszer, readers may access a digitized version of Narratives at the Lesbian Poetry Archive www.lesbianpoetryarchive.org/Narratives. In 2018, she co-edited with Morgan Gwenwald, Stevie Jones, and Red Washburn, Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance, a special issue of Sinister Wisdom. Plans for a 2020 Dump Trump II are in the works.

Since 2013, she has been one of the co-organizers of the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers. After living in New Jersey since 1969, she now resides permanently in Hobart, N.Y., the Book Village of the Catskills, where her partner, Barbara Balliet, and she operate the Blenheim Hill New and Used Bookshop. Y’all come visit.

A black and white photo of Julie R Enszer smiling.

Julie R. Enszer is editor of Sinister Wisdom. Enszer is a scholar and poet. Her scholarship is at the intersection of U.S. history and literature with particular attention to twentieth century U.S. feminist and lesbian histories, literatures, and cultures. By examining lesbian print culture with the tools of history and literary studies, she reconsiders histories of the Women’s Liberation Movement and gay liberation. Her book manuscript, A Fine Bind: Lesbian-Feminist Publishing from 1969 through 2009, tells stories of a dozen lesbian-feminist publishers to consider the meaning of the theoretical and political formations of lesbian-feminism, separatism, and cultural feminism. Her research has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Cultures, Journal of Lesbian Studies, American Periodicals, WSQ, Frontiers, and other journals. Enszer is the author of four collections of poetry, Avowed (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016), Lilith’s Demons (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2015), Sisterhood (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013), and Handmade Love (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2010). She is editor of The Complete Works of Pat Parker (Sinister Wisdom/A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2016) and Milk & Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2011). Milk & Honey was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry. She is a regular book reviewer for LambdaLiterary.org, The Rumpus, and Calyx. You can read more of her work at www.JulieREnszer.com.

A photo of Sara Gregory smiling.

Sara Gregory (they them + she her) is a nonbinary lesbian writer. In addition to editing and reviewing for Sinister Wisdom, Sara most recently curated the 2019 Sinister Wisdom calendar which celebrates lesbian and queer histories as creative, incendiary, and ongoing. Sara currently works in the labor movement and organizes in higher education. Sara has been published in Jezebel, Autostraddle, INTO, Bust, The Rumpus, and others. Find more on twitter @SGregory91 or at www.saragregory.org

A photo of Dr. J.P. Howard smiling.

JP Howard is the co-editor of Sinister Wisdom Black Lesbians: We are the Revolution! JP’s debut poetry collection, SAY/MIRROR, was a Lambda Literary finalist. She was a Split this Rock Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism finalist and is featured in the Lesbian Poet Trading Card Series (Headmistress Press). JP has received fellowships and grants from Cave Canem, VONA, and Lambda. She curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon, a New York-based forum offering women writers a monthly venue to collaborate. JP’s poetry and essays have appeared in Apogee Journal, The Feminist Wire, Split this Rock, and The Best American Poetry Blog. You can find JP at http://www.jp-howard.com/ or http://www.jph.poet@gmail.com.

A photo of Rose Norman smiling in Tuscany.

Rose Norman is a retired professor of English and women's studies who grew up in rural Alabama and now lives in Huntsville, Alabama. Her lifelong interest in stories of women's lives led to scholarly research on American women's autobiography. As general editor of the Southern Lesbian-Feminist Activist Herstory Project, she has interviewed over a hundred lesbians and is now writing a book about the Pagoda, a lesbian intentional community in St. Augustine, FL (1977-c. 1999).

A photo of Joan Nestle smiling.

Joan Nestle was born in the Bronx in 1940 and spent most of her life in New York City, where, in 1958, she entered public lesbian life in the bars of Greenwich Village. She taught writing in the SEEK Program at Queens College from 1965 to 1990. In 1974, she cofounded the Lesbian Herstory Archives which still thrives today in its Brooklyn home. Her own provinciality ended, she hopes, when she moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 2002 to be with her lover, Dianne Otto. At seventy-three Nestle is most grateful when she is forced to see with new eyes that which she thought she knew. She is the author of A Restricted Country (Cleis Press, San Francisco, 2003, first published Firebrand Press, Ithaca N.Y., 1987) and A Fragile Union (Cleis Press, San Francisco, 1998) and editor of seven other books exploring the lesbian body and imagination. For her most recent writing, see http://joannestle.com.

A photo of Red Washburn.

Red Washburn, PhD is Associate Professor of English and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY). Red is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Hunter College (CUNY). They are a Visiting Professor at Vassar College summers 2018-2019, and they are a Research Fellow at the CUNY Grad Center fall/spring 2018-2020. They received a M.A. in English from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2005 and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland in 2007. They received a Ph.D. from the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland in 2010. Their articles appear in Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. Their poetry collection Crestview Tree Woman was published by Finishing Line Press. In 2017, Red co-edited Sinister Wisdom issue 103, “Celebrating the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival,” in which their piece “156 Avenue and Madison Road” is featured. They edited the “Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance” issue of Sinister Wisdom in the fall in 2018 with Cheryl Clarke, Morgan Gwenwald, and Stevie Jones. They will be co-editing the 45th Anniversary Sinister Wisdom issue of the Lesbian Herstory Archives with Deborah Edel, Flavia Rando, Maxine Wolfe, Joan Nestle, Morgan Gwenwald, Stevie Jones, and Shawn(ta) Smith Cruz in the fall of 2019. In addition, they are working on editing a collection of Jane Verlaine’s writings and an anthology on “Trans and Lesbian/ Queer Feminisms.” Red is a coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives and of the Rainbow Book Fair. Red is on the board of directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS).

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

"Live your lives, honorably and with dignity."

Andrea Dworkin