All posts by Michael Broder

Lilith’s Demons by Julie R. Enszer

Lilith-EnzserIn the Jewish tradition, Lilith’s punishment for rejecting Adam and disobeying God is to give birth to one hundred demons at twilight every night. These demons travel the land, killing newborns and wreaking havoc, until the sun rises anew.

Julie R. Enszer reimagines Lilith and her demons for her third collection, Lilith’s Demons, giving them their own voices to speak to women of the world.

Recast as a contemporary embattled woman, Enszer’s Lilith is fiercely independent and determined as well as vulnerable, exposed. Her demons bemoan their obligation to kill, carrying the weight of such actions every minute, every hour of their time on earth.

These poems offer a new mythology for women, reclaiming what is useful from the old and boldly striking new territory where women and their demons can be powerful. No longer dependent on God or man, Lilith and her demons convey a contemporary feminist cosmology.

Julie R. Enszer is the author of two previous poetry collections, Handmade Love (A Midsummer Night’s Press) and Sisterhood (Sibling Rivalry), as well as the non-fiction collection Homesteading: Essays on Life, Death, Sex and Liberation (Spirit Press). She edited the anthology Milk & Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry (A Midsummer Night’s Press), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. She is also the editor of Sinister Wisdom magazine.

by Julie R. Enszer
Fabula Rasa 06

ISBN: 978-1-938334-17-7
Poetry/Women’s Studies/Jewish Studies
64 pages
Publication date: December 15, 2015

US: $14.95


Fundraiser Chapbook: Strong by Pat Parker

Strong - CoverIn 2016, A Midsummer Night’s Press & Sinister Wisdom will publish The Complete Works of Pat Parker as part of our Sapphic Classics series. This project is a major undertaking for us, and will be larger (and more expensive to produce!) than any of our previous titles. We are still unearthing new writing and other material from various archives, and don’t yet know how big the final book will be.

To help raise funds for this project, both the continued research as well as printing and promotion next year, we’re publishing an exclusive 56-page chapbook featuring 3 long poems by Pat Parker and an original introduction about Parker’s work by Cheryl Clarke.

Strong: Three Poems by Pat Parker with an introduction by Cheryl Clarke will be available ONLY as part of the fundraiser, direct from us, as a thank you for all donations of $15 or more ($20 or more to cover postage for non-US destinations).

Donations of any amount (no matter how big or small) to help support this project are gratefully welcome!

One of the exemplary voices of feminist poetry, Pat Parker was beloved in lesbian- feminist communities during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. She was the author of five collections of poetry, including the iconic collections Movement in Black and Jonestown & Other Madness. Based in the San Francisco bay area, she traveled around the country performing her powerful poems and giving voice to the experiences of African-American lesbians.

Writing about Parker’s work in The Journal of Lesbian Studies, David B. Green says:

“Parker’s life and work must be recovered, particularly during a moment in the United States where chants of #blacklivesmatter continue to highlight what many activists before already knew: a corrupt and racist U.S. justice system that continues to violently enact what must be called, echoing Parker, “blackslaughter”—or the State sanctioned murdering of unarmed black men and women simply because they dare to be black in a thoroughly mythical “post-racial” America. Parker, like a number of her ancestors and contemporaries, has long desired to indict the U.S. justice system for its inhumane treatment of African Americans and women.”

It is our hope that The Complete Works of Pat Parker will not just celebrate Parker’s important contribution but help introduce her legacy to a new generation of readers.

We appreciate your support for making this project a reality—and for helping to spread the word about it.

We don’t yet know what the final price will be for The Complete Works of Pat Parker. More information, including a publication date (anticipated for Spring/Summer) will be announced early in 2016.

One way to ensure that you get a copy is to subscribe to Sinister Wisdom, which offers 4 issues per year for just $30 (including the one Sapphic Classic volume co-published each year with A Midsummer Night’s Press). Subscription information can be found here:

Copies of Strong: Three Poems by Pat Parker will start to ship November 23rd, 2015.

The Complete Works of Pat Parker by Pat Parker

CWPP-Cover-Final copy“Parker stayed woke to black suffering, violence against black bodies—especially those of black women—to the suffering engendered by multiple, egregious oppressions. With The Complete Works of Pat Parker, we are allowed an opportunity to historicize Pat Parker’s significance to black women’s literary traditions, lesbian erotics, to black queer struggles and black feminisms, and to global social justice movements. She was in her time. Now, with this important text, she will be in all time to come.”
—Alexis De Veaux, author of Yabo

During her lifetime, Pat Parker was a renowned African-American, lesbian-feminist poet and performer. She was the author of Jonestown & Other Madness (1985), Movement in Black (1978, 1983, 1989, 1999), Womanslaughter (1978), Pit Stop (1974, 1975), and Child of Myself (1972, 1974). Her poems appeared in numerous journals, newspapers, and anthologies. With Judy Grahn, she recorded the album Where Would I Be Without You (Olivia Records, 1976), and one of her spoken poems appeared on the album Lesbian Concentrate.

She performed live readings at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad. Her work is often included in Women’s Studies curricula.

Parker was born in Houston in 1944 and moved to Los Angeles after she graduated high school. She lived in the San Francisco bay area from 1965 until her death. Parker died in 1989 from complications of cancer. Her partner of nine years, Martha Dunham, and their daughter, Anastasia Dunham-Parker-Brady, survived her as well as Cassidy Brown whom she co-parented.

“As the #BlackLivesMatter movement calls attention to the grave risks Black people have always faced and as poets and artists wrestle with the question of how to marry the political and the personal in their work, we have never needed Pat Parker’s work more. It is absolutely immediate, searing, salving, saving, and NECESSARY.”
—Kazim Ali, author of All One’s Blues: New and Selected Poems

“The poetry of Pat Parker reaches out to us anew and shakes our consciousness—fiercely.”
—Cheryl Clarke, author of By My Precise Haircut

by Pat Parker
Sapphic Classics 04
October 2016
488 pages
ISBN: 978-1-938334-22-1

Caravan Lullabies by Ilzė Butkutė

Caravan Lullabies-Front CoverForgive me, I didn’t tell you—I grew up in a circus.
They left me to study with the magician—
to draw a handful of rabbits from the night.

And someone without a ticket,
unbuttoned to the dusk, taught me
the courage to crack—never to shatter.

From “To Yearn Is to Walk on One’s Hands”

IlzėButkutė’s poems are peopled with dwarves and lovers, magicians and cats, who navigate both the daylight and the darkness of life and relationships, trying not to stumble. They contain both silences and all the hullabaloo of the Carnival.

These poems, drawn from her first two collections, dazzle not with legerdemain nor linguistic acrobatics but with Butkutė’s bold imagery and deep insights, her spare language brought into English by Rimas Uzgiris.

IlzėButkutėis a Lithuanian poet who studied photojournalism and worked in advertising. She is the author of two books of poetry, Karavanųlopšinės (Caravan Lullabies) and Karnavalųmėnuo (Carnival Moon), as well as a practical guide for workers oppressed by their employers, Atleisk savo šefa (Fire Your Boss). She won the Zigmas Gaidamavičius-Gėlė Prize in 2011 for best debut collection. Her poems have been translated into Basque, Catalan, English, French, German, Latvian, Russian, and Ukrainian.

Caravan Lullabies
by Ilzė Butkutė
translated by Rimas Uzgiris
Periscope 04

ISBN: 978-1-938334-23-8

80 pages/paperback
Publication: Fall 2016
US Distribution: November 30, 2016

US: $15.95
UK: £12
Europe: €14