Radical Publishing in Three Decades or Less
Kim Tran on Third Woman Press, Kórima Press, & Aunt Lute Books
This post is part of a Nat. Brut series in which feminist writers, artists, and activists discuss people, publications, or organizations who are working toward inclusivity. Today, Kim Tran shares her choices.
Third Woman Press
At its inception, Third Woman Press: Queer and Feminist of Color Publishing (TWP) followed a simple principle: publish works by, for and about women of color. The brainchild of Chicana scholar Norma Alarcon, TWP gave rise to some of women of color feminism’s most foundational books including Chicana Lesbians, Writing Self, Writing Nation and the second edition of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Some thirty odd years later, the press is being revitalized on a national level by a six person collective — a younger generation of scholar-activists of color committed to radical feminism, collective thinking and decolonization.
“…a younger generation of scholar-activists of color committed to radical feminism…”
Third Woman Press is one of a small cohort of publishers dedicated to publishing works by, for and about queer, trans and feminist of color communities. In so doing it seeks to reshape publishing itself. Third Woman Press believes in bending the genres of established publishing and feminism through creative and academic writing by incorporating visual art, poetry, personal narrative into blogs, zines and text.
“…Kórima Press is a queer Chicana/o and Xicana/o independent press.”
Kórima Press is a groundbreaking independent publisher based out of San Francisco, California. Helmed and founded by accomplished poet Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Kórima Press is a queer Chicana/o and Xicana/o independent press. Since 2010 Kórima has published work broadly, spanning poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Kórima Press’ work exemplifies the possibilities of politically committed publishing.
Aunt Lute Books
Aunt Lute Books is a San-Francisco based nonprofit grassroots press publishing literature that voices the perspectives of women from a broad range of diverse communities for over 30 years. Started in 1982 in Iowa City by Barb Wieser and Joan Pinkvoss, Aunt Lute Books began with the belief that neither mainstream publishing nor the feminist movement was advancing the voices of lesbians, particularly lesbians and women of color.
“Aunt Lute Books publish[es] literature by women whose voices have been historically underrepresented…”
Toward that end, Aunt Lute Books has spent the better part of three decades publishing literature by women whose voices have been historically underrepresented in mainstream and small press publishing. Aunt Lute Books publishes diversely; its catalog includes everything from foundational academic texts to dramatic works and poetry to memoirs and historical documents that center the histories and lives of women whose stories are often silenced. Its aim is to “distribute literature that expresses the true complexity of women’s lives and the possibilities for personal and social change.”
Kim Tran is a doctoral candidate in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Her academic and activist commitments are to laborers, refugee and queer communities. She writes on race, gender and economics. Her work has been published locally and nationally in the East Bay Express, Nation of Change and the Feminist Wire. Currently, she is a collective member of Third Woman Press: Queer and Feminist of Publishing that has published titles including This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. She is originally from San Jose, California, a proud survivor of California’s public schools and universities who aspires to think alongside young people in classrooms and community.