In 2014, Paste Magazine published an article listing the last thirteen feminist bookstores in the U.S. and Canada.
As a poet whose early work and tours were largely supported by independent feminist bookstores and queer-friendly community spaces like In Other Words Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, I'm eager to use the publication of LAST PSALM AT SEA LEVEL as a way to visit the last of these vital cultural stalwarts in hopes of supporting them, learning about their histories, and encouraging my own community of poets & writers to do the same.
As writer, performer, & cultural worker Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha has pointed out, however, this list is hardly exhaustive: many shops, whose commitment to or definition of feminism is deeply rooted in intersectionality, communities of color, and other manifestations of feminist culture that refuse the cis, white, able-bodied paradigm, were not included. If you know of shops that should be on this list, please be in touch.
I plan to tour my first full-length collection of poems to as many of the bookstores on this growing list as possible. If you live near one of these shops, are associated with them in any way, are interested in pairing up to read at them, would like to donate toward a tour fund, or want to swap stories about planning your own sweep of #thelast13tour, please do be in touch.
I'll be posting updates here as I make my progress. Below are the listed shops at which I already have readings scheduled, in addition to a current list of shops that I'm working to find funding to visit.
Current List of The Remaining Feminist Book Stores in the U.S. and Canada**
A Room of One's Own Books, Madison WI (October 2014)
Women and Children First, Chicago IL (October 2014)
Womencrafts, Provincetown MA
Wild Iris Books, Gainesville FL (April 2015)
People Called Women, Toledo OH
Northern Woman's Bookstore, Thunder Bay ON
Modern Times Bookstore, San Francisco CA* (December 2014)
In Other Words, Portland OR
Common Language Bookstore, Ann Arbor MI
Charis Books, Atlanta GA (April 2015)
BookWoman, Austin TX (July 2015)
Bluestockings, New York NY
BloodRoot, Bridgeport CT (no longer possible)
Antigone Books, Tucson AZ
* Shops not included in Paste Magazine's original list of 13.
** This list is obviously not exhaustive. Please be in touch with your suggestions!