Featured Fem | Meet Femchord

Julia Wejchert and Kate Ida are the founders and hosts of femchord, a radio show and music blog featuring women and non-binary people involved in all aspects of music. Julia and Kate were college roommates and both have a master’s in gender policy and an obsession with music. They broadcast out of Arlington’s WERA and are available on the web at femchord.com.

THE FEM: Something I think that’s really evolved in the music business recently is the process of discovery. It’s really easy in today’s age to listen to only what you know and never hear about anything else. How do you find new music?

KATE IDA: We look at a lot of artists signed to small, local labels. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the DC area, but any label that primarily champions hometown musicians. What many people who aren’t involved in music don’t realize is how much of the music on curated playlists that many streaming services offer, or on major music publications like Pitchfork, is actually fueled by major labels’ extensive PR capacity. It’s not that these artists don’t deserve the recognition they get, but there are so many talented artists making amazing music that are signed to small labels or are putting out music on their own on Bandcamp. Take Lucy Dacus as an example. She put out her amazing album No Burden on a small, Richmond, Va.-based label. She was eventually signed to the larger Matador Records, but I first heard her album by perusing the artists signed to Richmond’s Egghunt Records when looking for local artists to feature.  Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Femchord”

Advertisements

Featured Fem | Meet Jill Walls

Jill Walls holds a PhD from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and works as an assistant professor at Ball State University in the department of Family and Consumer Sciences. In her classes, she teaches how race, gender, sexual orientation and social class, among other factors, shape individuals’ experiences and family relationships. She recently published a paper that examined intensive mothering beliefs among full-time employed mothers of young children, and is currently working on a project that examines the lived experiences of African American college students when race is discussed in class.

THE FEM: What would you say to full-time mothers of young children who are coping with some of the intensive mothering beliefs you’ve written about? As a mother yourself, are there things you’ve researched that you wish you had known earlier?

jill 1.jpg
Jill Walls

Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Jill Walls”

Featured Fem | Meet Shanon Lee

Interview by Anna-Claire McGrath

Shanon Lee is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, a filmmaker, a Women’s Media Center SheSource Expert, a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) and the host of The Hush!, a blab talk show for feminist voices. Her current documentary, Art as a Voice, features five artists-activists who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

THE FEM: You work a lot with victims of domestic abuse as a member of the Speakers Bureau for RAINN and as a filmmaker. What led you to go down that path? Why is it important that we talk about these issues?

SHANON LEE: I was a young divorcee and survivor of marital rape that went on to study clinical mental health counseling because I wanted to understand the mentality of my abuser and my relationship patterns. A decade after my divorce, my rapist started harassing me online during the height of the #IamJada movement. I felt that if a teen could be brave enough to speak out, after images of her rape were spread across social media, I could help others by sharing my story. After my essay about marital rape was published on xoJane.com, I was interviewed on HuffPost Live and invited to join the Speaker’s Bureau for RAINN. This year, I had the opportunity to submit a short film to an art event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I loved the experience. I am a storyteller; everything I do is influenced by my life experiences and desire to advocate for other survivors. Marital rape is not only stigmatized because women are still fighting for equality, the crime is overlooked because people are uneducated about consent.

Shanon_L_Headshot
Shanon Lee

Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Shanon Lee”

Featured Friday | Meet Ashaki Jackson

Interview by Anna-Claire McGrath

Ashaki Jackson is a Houston, Texas native who now resides in Los Angeles. A social psychologist and programs evaluator, Ashaki’s poetry and activism often intermingle as evidenced in her debut chapbook, Surveillance, a meditation on the brutal murders of black and brown youth by police officers in America.

Ashaki returns with Language Lesson, Miel Books, August 2016, an equally emotional and exquisite book. Here, Ashaki returns to her southern roots to follow her grandmother back to her final resting place.

THE FEM: So this book is about mourning your grandmother, and I wanted to talk to you first about the impetus to write a book of poetry about that. What was her role in your life and why did you feel that poetry was the proper vehicle for paying tribute? Continue reading “Featured Friday | Meet Ashaki Jackson”

Featured Fem | Meet Xandra Robinson-Burns

Interview by Anna-Claire McGrath

Xandra Robinson-Burns is an American blogger living in the United Kingdom. Her blog, Heroine Training, focuses on ways to live life to your best potential through literature. She offers a course in self-development focusing on lessons from Harry Potter called Blogwarts, and a mailing list focusing on wisdom from Jane Austen called Letters from Jane Austen. She is just now finishing conducting a course in self-improvement based on Broadway musicals called Leading Lady.

THE FEM: Would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself and Heroine Training? Why did you start it and what niche did you hope to fill?

XANDRA ROBINSON-BURNS: I’m Xandra. I’m a minimalist Gryffindor from Boston living in Edinburgh. At Heroine Training, I write lessons and courses about being your own heroine and living your story. 

xandra pic
Xandra Robinson-Burns

Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Xandra Robinson-Burns”

Featured Fem | Meet Abby Parsons and Bridie Wilkinson

Abby Parsons and Bridie Wilkinson are the co-founders of Dear Damsels, a website featuring writing by young women which launched in January 2016. Each month, they choose a theme such as HOME or TRANSIT and feature essays, short stories and poems on that theme. For July, Team DD is discussing NERVE.

image1
Bridie (left) and Abby (right), co-founders of Dear Damsels

THE FEM: So to start, could you describe Dear Damsels? Where did the idea come from and how did you go about making it into a reality? Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Abby Parsons and Bridie Wilkinson”

Featured Fem | Meet C. Russell Price

C. Russell Price is a genderqueer poet based in Chicago but originally hailing from Virginia. Their chapbook Tonight We Fuck The Trailer Park Out of Each Otherwas published by Sibling Rivalry Press on June 21, 2016. Previous publications include: AssaracusCourt GreenGlitterwolfMiPOesiasWeave, and elsewhere. They currently work at The Offing, Story Club Magazine and Triquarterly. They are a 2015 Lambda Fellow in Poetry.

CRussellHeadshot1
C. Russell Price

Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet C. Russell Price”

Featured Friday | Meet Heather Derr-Smith

Heather Derr-Smith is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of three books of poetry, Each End of the World (Main Street Rag Press, Editor’s Choice Award 2005), The Bride Minaret (University of Akron Press, Editor’s Choice Award, 2008) and Tongue Screw (Spark Wheel Press, 2016). The title Tongue Screw comes from a medieval torture device used to silence women as they were being lead to execution, and the poems in that volume deal with both childhood sexual abuse and rape. Her fourth collection, Thrust, won the Lexi Ruditnsky at Persea Books and will be published in 2017.

_MG_8707
Heather Derr-Smith 

Continue reading “Featured Friday | Meet Heather Derr-Smith”

Featured Fem | Meet Alexis Rhone Fancher

Alexis Rhone Fancher’s poem, “when I turned fourteen, my mother’s sister took me to lunch and said:” was chosen by Edward Hirsch for inclusion in The Best American Poetry of 2016. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (Sybaritic Press, 2014), and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (KYSO Flash Press, 2015). She is published in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles, Hobart, and elsewhere.IMG_8457

Her photos are published worldwide, including spreads in Blue Lyra, River Styx, Blink Ink, Fine Linen, HeART Online, Rogue Agent, and the covers of Witness and The Mas Tequila Review.

Since 2013 Alexis has been nominated for seven Pushcart Prizes and four Best of The Net awards. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, where she also publishes a monthly photo essay, The Poet’s Eye. Find her at on her website.

Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Alexis Rhone Fancher”

Featured Fem | Meet Sylvia Arthur

Sylvia Arthur (avatar)Sylvia Arthur is a narrative nonfiction writer from the U.K. She has written for Clutch magazine, The Guardian, the BBC and News Africa magazine. She is currently working on a book of interconnected essays called African and Other Curse Words.

Fem: In the reading you gave for your upcoming work African, & Other Curse Words, you talk about your experience as a black woman from the U.K. living in Brussels. You say, “If I said I was British, they would say I was African. If I said I was African, they would question why I spoke English, why I spoke it with an English accent, and why I spoke it so fluently.” Can you talk a little bit about that feeling of not really belonging to any of the categories people had for you?

Sylvia Arthur: It’s not so much about not belonging as not being accepted. I think they’re two interrelated but slightly different things. I belong to all of those categories, but people wanted to pigeonhole me into one, reducing me to something they could easily understand rather than trying to comprehend the complexity of who I am. But belonging has as much to do with the internal as the external. I know what I am, who I am, and where I belong, yet it’s so frustrating to tell the truth and be consistently interrogated, which is when you start doubting yourself and what you know to be true. It’s not only frustrating, it’s disorientating, infuriating, and nauseating. It’s like emotional waterboarding. I am Black British, or British Ghanaian, or Ghanaian British. I see no contradiction in that, but the Europeans I encountered just wouldn’t, or couldn’t, accept that. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Sylvia Arthur”