An article by Lynn Sweeting for The Bahamas Weekly.
Publisher of The Bahamas’ first-of-its-kind revolutionary literary journal, created especially for the expressions of Caribbean women, makes a public appeal with the ‘against-all-odds’ publication of their latest volume of writings and art.
I call WomanSpeak the impossible journal. Each issue is made in an impossible place, under impossible circumstances, and against impossible odds. There is always a sense that these books were not meant to survive, that they were never meant to make it to print. Yet, here they are.
Truth be told, it is hard to write in this country and even harder to make books, harder still to sell them. It is hard to publish and sell books of literature by contemporary Caribbean women writers in The Bahamas, arguably the most misogynistic country in the Caribbean—a country that doesn’t read. It is hard to find the money to print these beautiful books, and hard to sell them. Local bookstores will not buy them outright from me. Yes, WomanSpeak is the Impossible Journal, and I think it is important that this backstory is known.
I kept going for two reasons. One was that the writers and painters of my local community kept encouraging me to keep on making, kept telling me they wanted to see their work in this kind of forum. The other reason was that I began to recognize a huge, powerful system of oppression at work against the project, from without and within. I made each book as a creative act of womanish/feminist resistance against this oppressive power that wanted to silence me more than anything else. For me, each issue was an enactment of my personal revolution against that oppression. Then the submissions from international writers began coming in, and I realized there were more Caribbean women writers who wanted to read and to be published in such a journal.
Two donors stepped up and paid for the design and the printing of the contributors’ copies. They are angels, supporting a project they won’t immediately benefit from, planting trees they may never seek shelter beneath.
More information at WomanSpeak on Facebook