don't die press

Snapshots

by , on
2019-09-13

Put Your Hand in Mine
Elaine Woo
Signature Press (2019)

Review by Rachael Ikins

Elaine Woo’s journey from young childhood to gray hair is told with a close connection to the natural world, even as it succumbs to environmental degradation. She is a relentless observer who gives the reader unique perspectives on such homely natural things as a cat stalking a bird, crows gathering, or, most significantly to her, the waves washing “the hem” of the beach. Even quotidian clothing, crafted by nature and by humans, takes on purpose for the speaker, from worn denim to winter boots and an embroidered tunic.

Despite the speaker’s sustained solitude, it is the odd poem about people–her friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer, her mentor who lost the vision in one eye, her mother, her father–that define the collection with snapshot-like clarity. From poem to poem, the experience of reading is akin to looking through an old diary or photo album, though not always a happy one. It is through her relationships with people we see her grow from an impressionable girl into a woman who owns herself and her life. Her female characters, such as her mentor, prove brave independent women no matter what challenges them. Meanwhile, her relationships with women bolster her own self-examination and willingness to accept her own flaws as she works to strengthen her sense of self.

This reviewer found the format of some poems distracting as the poet sought to put her words into motion across the page. For example, the arrangement of one line on the left margin, skipping two lines, and then settling in the right margin, in actuality seemed unnecessary: the language in these poems is strong enough on its own to convey the heartbeat of the seasonal cycles riding on the waves of the ocean in which the poet finds steadfast peace when in pain. However, other readers may enjoy having this enigmatic canvas to interpret from.

In the end, “Put Your Hand in Mind” reads as a complicated tension between despair and hope as well as a call for women to hold hands across their differences. The Amazon Rain Forest is burning. Rafts of plastic pollute the speaker’s beloved ocean. By 2030, humans may use up all of the earth’s ability to replenish topsoil and, hence, food. Where does one find hope in the face of such realities? Woo turns repeatedly to the beauty of nature for her inspiration. It is this we poets must remember, and through our writings, speak out and call each other to accountability.

Submit now!

by , on
2019-07-29

Submit now, but do not be submissive!

S/tick is now seeking submissions of your fabulous feminist farrago for our next issue!

Review the submissions guidelines above, then send us your best feminist poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and artwork.

We hold an intersectional view of feminism, so if your work deals with oppressions or empowerment, we want to read it.

You can also read some of our past issues to pay tribute to a brilliant community of feminist artists and authors and to get a sense of what we’re looking for.

Terrarium Poem

by , on
2019-05-22

excerpt from a poem by Heather Lee Rogers

if the plant is spiky

and lives in a jar

safe from the black thumb

safe from the black cat

if the plant is spiky

can it draw my lost blood

if the plant’s in a jar

can it clean my dead air

Read the rest of Heather’s poem in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2!

In the meantime, check out more of Heather’s work at www.heatherleerogerspoetry.com.

Dandelion

by , on
2019-05-17

excerpt from a poem by Jennifer Leider

grimed streetlamps light
pavement plagued with glass
straining—the moon doesn’t come around here
police sirens sing strawberry blueberry

and your hair smells like papaya
youthful energy
in the skulking night gangs
baby-faced boys with jutting chins
hoping guns turn them men
they won’t bother us anyways

this bodega smells like
donkeys and cigarettes and sulfur
we heave ourselves over the fence
to the neighborhood pool
your dad thinks you like boys

Read the rest of Jennifer’s poem in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2!

In the meantime, check out Jennifer’s Instagram @followtheleider.

The Amazing Aphra Behn

by , on
2019-05-13

excerpt from a review by Catherine Lee

If, in September 1666, the English King Charles II had acted upon intelligence he received from his secret agent in Holland, Mrs. Aphra Behn, his naval fleet would not have been burned at its moorings far up the Thames  in June 1667 by the Dutch colluding with exiled British dissidents.

But no, the king and his ministers were preoccupied with wining, dining, wenching, and other such expressions of their divine right. As Behn later reported to her biographer, “all the encouragement [I] met with, was to be laughed at by the Minister [I] wrote to, and [my] letter showed by way of a contempt.”

Behn had to borrow money to return to England, as her expense reimbursement cheques never appeared despite repeated desperate entreaties to her royal employers. She reportedly spent time in debtor’s prison as a result of the crown’s negligence.

But Aphra went on to write and produce 17 hit plays. As the author of poetry, translations, and 13 novels, Behn may have a claim to being the first English woman to earn her living by writing.

Find out more about Aphra Behn in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2!

And in the meantime, check out Catherine Lee’s multimedia pieces archived on Soundcloud/jazz-cat-lee and VIMEO/jazzovation, as well as her two handmade, signed, limited edition poetry chapbooks augmented with music for sale at Etsy/JazzOvationInn.

Nurture

by , on
2019-05-09

by Elaine Woo

woman lovingly holding the earth with a blanket

Look for more artwork from Elaine Woo in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2!

Shelf Life: An exciting new project from don’t die press

by , on
2019-05-07

don’t die press is now accepting books for review.

We want to promote your book, but first, we need books and reviewers!

Click here to find out more, or e-mail gro.sserpeidtnod@rotide .

Wood County News, 1882

by , on
2019-05-06

excerpt by Suzanne Ondrus
from The Death of an Unvirtuous Woman

The incident began Saturday night:
First stab
into her ear,
    that perceived the babies’ colic
and scarlet fever wails.
    A slice from
the side
    of her mouth
out through her
        cheek
    that never was on a pillow
more than five hours.
He thrust
    through and
through
    creating
trenches.
    She screamed,
pounded back.
    With the corn knife, she could do
the corn fast, ten ears in three minutes.

Watch for the rest of the poem, and more from Suzanne Ondrus, in S/tick 4.2, coming your way soon!

In the meantime, visit Suzanne at suzanneondrus.com, and order her book at www.littleredtree.com/suzanne-ondrus! @suzanneondrus

A first peek at S/tick 4.2

by , on
2019-04-30

An excerpt of “The Savior” by Kika Dorsey

You said your hunting was only sacrifice,

to put the red heart of elk on table.

You said your climbing ladders

was a way to hang me

on the red dawn of ambition,

that every father is dead,

every son a climber,

and I said I never chose to live with sacrifice,

and now all I know is loss.


Read the rest of “The Savior” in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2, chock-full of feminist creative writing and artwork. And check out more from Kika at her website, kikadorsey.com.