Jourden V. Sander

Jourden Sander is the EIC of Feminine Inquiry. She is a writer, editor, tennis player, cosplayer, and anime geek who walks her stubborn corgi. She is a feminist and a fan of hot tea. She vaguely dislikes people who won't use the Oxford comma and finds it difficult to not repetitively use pronouns in a bio. She challenges you to a street race in her Mazda 3. She says hello.

Interviews, News

An Interview with Audrey T. Carroll, Author of Queen of Pentacles

For Feminine Inquiry’s Fall 2015 issue we published two fantastic poems by the very lovely and very talented writer Audrey T. Carroll. Well Audrey has gone on to do some super rad things including having her first collection of poetry, Queen of Pentacles, published!

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FI: Tell us about Queen of Pentacles. How did you come up with that rad title? 

AC: Right before I put Queen of Pentacles together I started getting into tarot. I’ve always been into all things witchy. The pentacle is my favorite symbol. Partly it’s just aesthetically pleasing, but I also like the ideas of elemental balance and protection that come with it. Because of this, I especially paid attention to the pentacle cards in tarot. There’s a spread where you can pick a card to represent you. I chose the Queen of Pentacles as my representative card. She’s very tied to the Earth and looks contemplative in the classic Rider-Waite deck. A lot of my poetry collection is reflective, and the poems explore connection to the Earth as spirituality, as well as finding a way to personal balance. To me, this card blends a lot of those themes nicely.

FI: What kind of topics and styles of poetry do you explore in your collection? 

AC: I wrote these poems over the course of a couple of the darkest years of my life. Some are written about my struggle with mental illness—Generalized Anxiety Disorder and depression. Of course, in dealing with those things, I reflected a fair bit on my past, on what formed those conditions in me. I got to examine what it meant to be a woman in my home growing up and then what my female identity meant after leaving that home, my journey with anorexia, how I did (or didn’t) explore my sexuality when growing up, and, as I mentioned before, my spiritual journey as well. One of the keys to understanding this all was writing about some of the dreams that preoccupied me.

It was while writing this collection that I first experimented with prose poetry. There are definitely traditionally line broken poems in there as well, but I felt really taken in by prose poetry as a style. It started, funnily enough, because prose poetry was discouraged/dismissed/generally given shit in a critique group. It wasn’t taken seriously as a form of poetry. So, naturally, I started to write it regularly and to dedicate myself to learning how to craft it well. My stubbornness coming out, I suppose. The surest way to get me to do something is to say that I won’t be able to do it.

FI: What was the process of writing and putting together a collection of poetry like for you?

AC: I actually didn’t set out to write a collection at first. I wrote a bunch of poems for an MFA class after years away from poetry (while concentrating on my fiction almost 100%). Then I noticed Hermeneutic Chaos was open for chapbook submissions over the summer. I had more time for writing since I had no classes to worry about. I sat down with the poems I had and then wrote a poem every day until I hit the page requirement. I tried to pick an image, a theme, or a word in each one and make that the inspiration or link for the poem after it. The chapbook was (very, very kindly) rejected. At that point, I realized I had quite a bit of composition done toward a collection and used it as a way to work through some of the hard stuff I previously mentioned.

FI: When will the collection come out and how can we get one? 

AC: The collection released on August 16th, and you can order it at http://ctspress.com/new/shop/.

FI: The collection is also available via Amazon! Make sure to review it on Goodreads as well <3

FI: What other projects are on the horizon? 

AC: Right now I have a fantasy novel under review with a couple of publishers. It’s planned as a trilogy. While it’s an ensemble story, it definitely focuses on a young woman who’s a witch in a Pennsylvanian college town and how she has to navigate tradition vs. innovation and teamwork vs. individuality while coming into her own power.

I also just edited my second poetry collection with the help of my friend Erin. This time I very much sat down wanting to make this a collection. It’s sectioned off and is all about identity narratives and intersectionality. I think of Queen of Pentacles as an unearthing of self and this new collection as a way to understand how each of these pieces of myself fit together.

Of course, I’m always working on tons of things (I’m Leslie Knope with a healthy dash of April Ludgate). I have a bunch of short stories I’m shopping around to lit mags, as well as the poems from that second collection. I have an outline for a memoir about my fibromyalgia. I’ve got the beginning of a YA queer novel that I’m probably going to mostly scrap and rewrite. I like having the wheels on different things turning at once.


Follow along with Audrey’s writerly ventures on her website, Facebook and Twitter <3

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Audrey T. Carroll is a Queens, NYC native whose obsessions include kittens, coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Rooster Teeth community. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Fiction International, The Fem, Feminine Inquiry, the A3 Review, and others. Her poetry collection, Queen of Pentacles, is available from Choose the Sword Press. She can be found at http://audreytcarrollwrites.weebly.com and @AudreyTCarroll on Twitter.

Interviews, News

An Interview with our 2016 Nonfiction Contest Winner: Megan Lambert

Last fall we held a fiction contest and awarded first place to our international recipient Andiswa Onke Maqutu for her poignant story, “Black Beyond Africa” (which can be read for free by downloading the digital copy of Issue 2). For third issue, we held a nonfiction contest and asked for your truest of stories; awarding the first place prize to someone much closer to Feminine Inquiry’s home.

As usual, I was astounded and so thankful for all the talented submissions we read. We really do enjoy reading and curating the creative works we receive. We don’t get as many submissions as larger zines and journals get, but, in a way, I think that’s a good thing. Having fewer submissions allows us a more personal reading experience and gives us the opportunity to personally respond to the submissions we receive, reject, and especially, to those we accept.

On our final day of submissions, we received one last contest entry. Little did we know that this submission would ultimately be chosen as the winner. We are excited to announce Megan Lambert and her wonderful nonfiction piece, “A Few Memorable Events” as the winner of Feminine Inquiry’s 2016 Nonfiction Contest!

Read on to learn more about this great story, and equally great writer, and make sure to attend our launch party to hear Megan read from the story herself.

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Literature

Local Lit: Reviewing Issue 16 of Vagina

As a born and bred Austinite I can fully attest to Austin’s local cultural scene. Austin as a city values the talents and projects of its neighbors, true to the literary community as well. After creating Feminine Inquiry, I continued exploring other zines in hopes of becoming better, of learning more. I was shocked to find that Austin’s lit community is much bigger than I’d originally thought, and yet, still feels intimate. There are several lit zines and journals, but not too many to enjoy and keep track of. There are plenty of local poets, writers and artists, some of which have been “discovered” and others that seem to create to create, not for the sake of discovery.

I used to write book reviews for a local newspaper when I lived in Georgetown, TX. I mostly focused on the big stuff: bestsellers, big names, and the most talked about. For this new project, I’m changing my focus with Local Lit: a regular book and zine review featuring creators exclusively from Austin.

If you’re interested in having your zine or book reviewed for Local Lit, please email us at feminine.inquiry@gmail.com.

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