Today is the official release date of Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians. There are many things that are unique about this issue of Sinister Wisdom. It is the longest issue of Sinister Wisdom that I have published since becoming editor and publisher in 2010; Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians clocks in at 224 pages. Originally, I thought that the issue might be a big larger than our usual 120 pages, but I did not anticipate that it would need to be nearly double in size to accommodate its incredibly compelling content. Fortunately, with the support of the Open Meadows Foundation, I was able to print a larger issue to fit all of the voluminous sinister wisdoms that lesbians generated for Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians.
The size of this issue should not be a barrier to anyone picking it up and engaging in the vibrant conversation its pages contain. Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians is a fabulous intergenerational collaboration between guest editor Nívea Castro and Geny Cabral. It features creative work of beloved and well-known Latina lesbians like Marga Gomez, Cherríe Moraga, Alina Galliano, Osa Hildalgo de la Riva, and Bessy Reyna as well as work by emerging writers including Erika Abad, Yoseli Castillo Fuertes, Deyanira García (Sargenta G), and Karen Jaime. The front cover features a photograph by Nívea Castro declaring, "Soy Lesbiania Y Que!," while the back cover features a gorgeous image by Liliana Wilson. In addition to being intergenerational, Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians is bilingual. A handful of pieces are in Spanish and many of the piece blend Spanish and English with extraordinary artistry.
Sinister Wisdom has a long tradition of publishing thematic issues that explore and extend various racial-ethnic identity formations. Explorations of racial-ethnic identities began with Sinister Wisdom 22/23: A Gathering of Spirit, edited by Beth Brant, and Sinister Wisdom 29/30: The Tribe of Dina, edited by Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz and Irena Klepfisz. Both of these issues were later published as paperback books and widely read inside and outside of lesbian-feminist communities. Sinister Wisdom continued exploring these issues in special issues including Sinister Wisdom 41: Italian-American Women, Sinister Wisdom 47: Lesbians of Color: Tellin' It Like It 'Tis, Sinister Wisdom 55: Exploring Issues of Racial and Sexual Identification, and Sinister Wisdom 74: Latina Lesbians. The intersections of racial-ethnic identities and sexual orientation continue to be a fertile ground for our sinister wisdoms.
I am perhaps most proud of publishing Nívea Castro's interview with tatiana de la tierra at the end of Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians. tatiana de la tierra is the author of For the Hard Ones: A Lesbian Phenomenology and one of my favorite writers and thinkers. Castro interviewed de la tierra shortly before her death in 2012. The long, intimate, wide-ranging conversation between Castro and de la tierra explores de la tierra's life, work, and activism. It is a piece not to be missed.
In the fall, two special launch events will celebrate the release of Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians. On Saturday, 12 September 2015 at 6 p.m., guest editor Castro and contributors to Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians will read at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, CA. If you are interested in attending the event in Oakland, you can learn more about it and RSVP here. A month later, on Thursday, 8 October 2015 at 7 p.m., Castro and contributors to Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians will read in New York City at Bluestockings. For more information about the New York City event and to RSVP, click here.
Never doubt the vibrancy of lesbian imagination and creativity today. Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians affirms the importance of lesbian literature and art for Out Latina Lesbians--and all lesbians. Sinister Wisdom affirms our lives. Again. And again.