Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The Birth of a Feminist Journal
(CALYX editorial staff Rebecca and Beverly, pictured left)
The CALYX Journal editorial staff is knee-deep in the production of the upcoming Winter 2010 journal. As the associate editor, I work with our senior editor Beverly, to copyedit, organize and arrange the journal's content.
One question that we have struggled with this week is what is the best way to open a feminist journal? The opening piece often sets the tone to how the journal is read, and it is important to have a strong start. Much of our prose and poetry content for this issue focuses around birth and mothers, themes in many previous CALYX Journals, and so we are tempted to open with a piece on birth. As women, we are intimately and deeply connected with the complicated feelings related to birth and raising children. But is that all that women are connected with?
While women's bodies and lives are often uniquely tied to children and child birth, woman's experience is not defined by birth (unless it is, perhaps, the birth of her own identity). The journal will open with "How to Become the Oracle" by Linda Strever, winner of the 2009 Lois Cranston Poetry Prize. Immediately following, will be the lush and moving prose piece by Christine Simokaitis, "Waiting for Elijah," focused around a woman's harrowing experiences with the birth of her son. We hope that our feminist readers recognize that stories and poems related to birth examine only a piece of the many experiences, dreams, curiosities and challenges that women face in their lives. At CALYX, we will do our best to represent all of the many faucets of woman's experiences and imagination; this includes, but is not limited to, birth.
-Rebecca Olson, Associate Editor