Apogee’s new Queer History, Queer Now issue is available to read online. Edited by Cecca Ochoa and Alejandro Varela, the issue includes work by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Cristy Road, Raquel Salas Rivera, Audre Lorde Project, and more: “We offer up this work, unas ofrendas, for those who were taken from us this month, on June 12. Let our collective rage, love, tears, and dance beats move us toward a more just future.”
Atlanta’s feminist Charis Bookstore has put together a reading list for “understanding and dismantling” racism for white readers, including Carol Anderson’s excellent new book White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.
Esme Weijun Wang’s The Collective Schizophrenias is the winner of this year’s Graywolf nonfiction prize and will be out soon: “Wang cogently and powerfully breaks open the social, historical, medical, and spiritual aspects of schizophrenia as she tackles everything from Andrew Solomon’s Far from the Tree and the murder of Malcoum Tate, to how genetics informed her choice to remain childless and her fashion-sense as a ‘high-functioning’ individual, and does it all in poised and effortless prose.”
Donate to the Baltimore Young Writers’ Studio, during which “7th-12th grade students from low-income Baltimore City schools [spend] an immersive, transformative six-day retreat at Mar-Lu-Ridge Retreat Center in Jefferson, Maryland.”
Slate offers an oral history of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (this summer marks its 25 year anniversary): “During that rehearsal period, someone on the board gave me their spider-infested cabin on the Russian River, and I went away for 10 days—it was early April—and I sat down, and I started writing. And I wrote 700 pages of Perestroika in 10 days—three times as much as would ultimately be in it, all by hand. And it was literally like The Red Shoes—I could not stop writing. If I tried to go to sleep, I would wake up two minutes later and just go.”
Read Natalie Diaz’s poem “Catching Copper” at Buzzfeed: “They keep their bullet / on a shiny leash / as a whip of blood.”
Nicole Dennis-Benn on innocence and Black children in America: “As I reflect on the recent killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — the latter who was shot and killed inside his car; his girlfriend Diamond Reynold’s four-year-old daughter bearing witness — I grapple with the loss of the cloak of protection we have as children called innocence. For black children, innocence is snatched away too soon, a brutal initiation into a frigid world.”
Topside Press is holding a writing workshop for 26 trans women in NYC this summer, and you can donate to help make the workshop accessible to all attendees.
Son of Baldwin on the myth of “black-on-black crime” and who/what it serves: “If it seems as though black people are more criminal than white people, it is because the racist institutions of American society — namely, the criminal justice system, prison industrial complex, and the media propaganda apparatus — have conspired to make it seem that way. Numerous studies have shown that black people and white people commit crimes at pretty much the same rate, and any differences in the rate can be attributed to poverty — which, in the United States, affects black people disproportionately due to structural impediments that are sourced to racism.”
Sara Ahmed on the problem of “evidence”: “My proposition is simple: that the evidence we have of racism and sexism is deemed insufficient because of racism and sexism. Indeed racism and sexism work by disregarding evidence or by rendering evidence unreliable or suspicious – often by rendering those who have direct experience of racism and sexism unreliable and suspicious. This disregarding – which is at once a form of regarding – has a central role in maintaining an order of things. Simply put: that evidence of something is deemed insufficient is a mechanism for reproducing something.”
The Dark Noise Collective released “Statement: A Call for Necessary Craft and Practice”: “We promise to create art with the mission of abolishing systems, institutions, and ethos that only serve the interest of white supremacy, neo-colonialism, cis-hetero patriarchy, sexism, violence-fueled capitalism and the intersections of all these that create volatile and grotesque realities for marginalized people globally.”
Judy Berman on Valley of the Dolls both lacking cultural relevancy and continuing to be a classic: “None of this jeopardizes Valley of the Dolls’s real legacy, as irresistible camp. Its melodramatic storyline and hammy characters, who overflow with emotion but never demand our empathy, have always been essential to its allure. Audiences laughed openly at preview screenings of the film.”