ISSUE 17 - JUNE 2018

Congratulations to Sarah Schulman for the Publishing Triangle's 2018 Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement. I love these quotes from her acceptance speech:

Within a few minutes of entering a room I can tell who allows themselves to notice lesbian work and who does not because one person says “Sarah you are doing so much” and the next one says “so Sarah, what do you do?” It is this disappearance in plain sight that speaks, in some ways, to the state of our literature.
Many of my queer female peers who were also born in the 1950’s with talent and drive, made the decision to repress or marginalize the lesbian content of their work and point of view so that they could have viable careers. But I couldn’t do that because it was boring. People in struggle are the most fascinating people on earth. They produce new ideas and new formal strategies and transformative visions of social and artistic possibility that are the soul of new ideas in art and culture.
Unfortunately there is absolutely no relationship between quality and reward. And I say this as a person who has been rewarded and at other times eliminated. Most art that is rewarded in an unjust society is work that re-enforces that society’s operative values. And when you look at the LGBT work that has been canonized, much of it makes the dominant culture very self-satisfied. Occasionally something or someone that is actually of great value does gets rewarded, but usually not because of their real accomplishment, it’s usually because the person or the work also fits the agenda of the gatekeepers’ need to see themselves as liberal or inclusive. And it is important that we not be fooled by the allure of acceptance, as much as we all want it and should have it. For, too often the introduction of some queer person of great gifts into the reward system produces tokenism instead of cultural expansion, because that person’s individual success does not represent a paradigm shift, but actually enhances the gatekeepers’ power.

The Headmistress Press Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest is open for submissions till July 4, 2018.

Mary Meriam, Editor
Lavender Review