Category: Nasty Women Writers

Cathy Park Hong (Korean American b.1976): Writing the Language of Change

Cathy Park Hong’s poetry is powerfully unique. In a reading I watched on YouTube, part of The Loft Mentor Series filmed in Minneapolis in 2014, Hong says that she likes to make up worlds and even languages. Her books are often stories of characters who inhabit these worlds with their own language. Her poems beg to be read or spoken aloud. Alive, they jump up off the page. For some it may be an adjustment to adapt to this form: the different language and alternate worlds. As a reader, this was a shift for me. I found I needed...

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Holding Space for the Past and the Future: Velma Wallis and the Stories of the Gwich’in People of Alaska

Velma Wallis’ books take the reader directly and swiftly into another world, a land of ice and snow, of cold, a world of her people, the Gwich’in, and her ancestors. A world of humans enduring and living their lives north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska and the trauma they endured and survived as their land was taken from them and their ways eroded away.  Her books are a gift in that they preserve the old stories and also bear witness to what has happened to her people in more recent times.  Velma Wallis was born in 1960, in...

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Truth Be Told! Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps by Michi (Nishiura) Weglyn (1926-1999)

The article 5 Japanese-American Women Your History Book Ignored by journalist Nina Wallace piqued my interest. Wallace leads off: “From African American activists critical to the 1963 March on Washington to the Japanese American women among the 120,000 wrongly imprisoned by a panic-stricken and – let’s be honest – racist United States government after Pearl Harbor, history has a nasty tendency of suppressing the role women played in major social movements throughout the 20th century. “As an antidote to this historical stifling of strong female voices, here’s a little herstory lesson about five women whose World War II incarceration...

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Writing at its Best: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw

This book was recommended to me by Amazon. That’s right. It popped up on my kindle as, “you may be interested in,” while purchasing a different book. I found the title compelling so I clicked, then I found the description of the book interesting, so I purchased. I was not disappointed. It has been a long time since I read a collection of short stories I could not put down and wanted to read all over again once I’d finished. Philyaw’s writing is downright addictive.  Philyaw’s voice is powerful and assertive, strong and confident, and also, a bit mischievous,...

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Matilda Joslyn Gage: In Her Name, American (1826-1898)

A few weeks back, I came upon a term I had not heard before, the ‘Matilda Effect’. It’s defined as: a bias against acknowledging the achievements of those women scientists whose work is attributed to their male colleagues (Wikipedia). This term was coined by science historian Margaret W. Rossiter in 1993, in her essay The Matthew Matilda Effect in Science. The Matthew Effect, labeled in 1948 and credited to Robert K Merton, and later to Harriet Zuckerman as well, refers to the way that: eminent scientists will often get more credit than a comparatively unknown researcher, even if their...

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