Poetry News

Get Ready for the Third Installment of Lesbian Poet Trading Cards!

By Harriet Staff

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At Chicago Tribune, Kathleen Rooney braces readers for the third series of Lesbian Poet Trading Cards published by Headmistress Press. The trading cards which debuted in 2015 provide, Rooney explains, "another strategy to fight the invisibility that is often all too prevalent in the assembly of both anthologies of past writers and the tables of contents of current literary journals, as when editors say things to the effect of 'we wanted to publish more work by (insert under-represented group here), we just couldn't find any." More:

I'm as intrigued as anyone by glimpses of impending cultural developments — "See what's coming to Netflix," for example, always gets me — but the March 2016 release I'm most looking forward to is the third installment of Headmistress Press' limited-edition Lesbian Poet Trading Cards.

This set of six queer female writers will include Constance Merritt, Wu Tsao, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Eileen Myles, one poet TBD, and — my personal favorite in this batch, though it's tough to choose — Renée Vivien, aka Pauline Mary Tarn, a British-born writer who rose to prominence in Belle Epoque Paris. She was immortalized in a vignette by her friend Colette in the latter's book "The Pure and the Impure."

In 2015, Headmistress Press — co-founded by Mary Meriam and Risa Denenberg as an independent publisher of books of poetry by lesbians — released the first two sets of six of these full-color cards featuring one lesbian poet for each month, displaying the poet's photo, biography and words. This, they say, is "their way of paying tribute to past and present poets, whether self-identified as lesbian or not, whose work has not been promoted nearly enough. This project is our way of honoring lesbian existence, recognizing a range of lesbian voices, and promoting lesbian representation in the arts." The cards come in a little plastic carrying case and are extremely pleasing to the eye, the touch and the mind.

The designer of the cards, Rita Mae Reese, is the author of the 2011 poetry collection "The Alphabet Conspiracy," a book informed by her work on the "Dictionary of Regional American English." She says that, "The cards have been really fun to make, and educational for me," even given her own background in poetry and her particular interest in poetry by lesbian artists.

Continue at Chicago Tribune.