Feminine Inquiry’s third issue lineupContinue reading
Feminine Inquiry’s added a new online store featuring digital subscriptions and feedback options for submitters.Continue reading
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!
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: 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.
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.
After a quick break, we’re back in the action:
Our Third Issue’s been released online
Shameless plug, but worth the read. Featuring non-fiction and poetry, including our non-fiction prize winner!
The wonderful editors at the Fem talk about literature as resistance. Worth the read for all of you out there who care about the social impact of literature.
Femsplain is back and that makes us happy. If you don’t know what it is, here’s how they describe it: “inspires discussion and connection through storytelling. We believe stories are most powerful when people feel safe enough to authentically share themselves — that’s why we are building an inclusive space for those who identify as women and gender nonconforming individuals to tell these personal stories.”
Literary Witches by Katy Horan and Taisia Kitaiskaia Over at Electric Literature
A cool comic about literary witches, it doesn’t really need much more explanation.
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.
We had international Women’s day, articles on MFAs (again), and plenty of time to get ready for spring break. Check it out:
33 Life-Changing Books in Honor of International Women’s Day at LitHub
International Women’s Day is over (officially but with us it’s always women’s day) but that doesn’t mean you can’t read some great books.
21 Female-Fronted Bands You Need to Listen To by Kathryn Hensch at Bust
Some jams to get you pumped for spring break.
The YA Book Prize Shortlist
If you’re into Young Adult books, you’ll be into this.
The 2016 Baileys Prize Longlist
The Bailey Prize celebrates UK, english writing, women. Check out this fabulous list of women writers.
MFA vs CPU: Another MFA Article Misses the Bigger Picture by Lincoln Michel
Over at Electric Literature, Lincoln Michel takes on the equally infamous article from the Atlantic, “How Has the MFA Changed the Contemporary Novel.”
In Praise of the Mighty Zine by Liska Jacobs Over at LitHub
A dispatch from the LA Zine Fest about how awesome zines are.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Walked All Over Texas’ Restrictive Abortion Law at the Huffington Post
Okay, this was technically last week, but it still warrants the read.
February’s over and March is finally here. Take a look at some of the things keeping us marching this week:
12 Women of Color Authors You Need to Know This Year by Melissa Ragsdale
Just in time for Women’s History Month
If you’re still reeling from the Super Tuesday results and want some political talk to go with it.
Abortion rights are being fought over at the Supreme Court, here’s a great article on the math behind some of the arguments.
All the best reads from this week of the web
The internet was on fire this week, from articles about diversity in publishing and hollywood to undead hipsters, here are the things we wish we wrote, but didn’t.
“You Will be Tokenized”: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing by Molly Mcradle over at BrooklynMag.
Molly Mcradle speaks to a group of diverse writers, editors, assistants, publishers, etc, about the state of diversity in publishing. An eye-opener that further humanizes the Lee & Low diversity study published in January 2016.
What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (If You’re Not a Straight White Man) by Melena Ryzik over at the New York Times
Melena Ryzik speaks to producers, actors, actresses, editors, writers, etc. about working in Hollywood as a person of color, woman, or non straight-white man.
Getting you prepared for another month of great reading.
Harper Lee and the Myth of the Post-Racial America by Kate Jenkins over at LitHub
Harper Lee passed away February 19th, and Kate Jenkins discusses the complex legacy a beloved writer like her has on Southern identity and race-relations.
Kashana Cauley looks at Hipsterism as a substitute for a declining middle-class comfort. A wild and insightful read.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue 2 is almost here. We’ve spent a lot of time reading over your submissions and looking for the best of the best, and oh boy, did we get a ton of them. On top of that, we had our first fiction contest, and ended up flooded with some really great fiction pieces! We’ve looked them over, we’ve talked them over, we’ve debated, cried, and even laughed, and after much deliberation it’s my pleasure to announce the official Feminine Inquiry Issue 2 Line up:
2015 Fall Prize for Fiction
Andiswa Onke Maqutu – “Black Beyond Africa” Read our Interview with Andiswa
2015 Fall Prize for Fiction Runner Up
Michelle Panik – “The Stroller”
Annika G. Morgan – “Identification”
Audrey Carrol – “North Tarrytown” and “Between the Lines”
Aza Pace – “New Teeth”
May Huang – “Unwomanly” and “Mei Méi”
Gina Astuto – “Airplane Ice”
Carissa Sandoval and Christina Hamilton – “Houses”
Online Pieces By
Dana Swift – “Scaredy Horse”
David Edwards – “Οὖτις”