Prizefighting Death in CA Conrad's 'A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon'

Lisa A. Flowers is a poet, critic, cinephile, ailurophile, the founding editor of Vulgar Marsala Press, and the Reviews Editor for Tarpaulin Sky Press. She is the author of diatomhero: religious poems, and her work has appeared in various magazines and online journals. Raised in Los Angeles and Portland, OR, she now resides in Colorado. Visit her here.

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The Cover Reveal for Lucky Bastard Press' Hysteria Anthology

Check out the exclusive cover reveal of Lucky Bastard Press' HYSTERIA anthology + enter to win a copy & bonus swag.

BY LISA MARIE BASILE

As both editor of Luna Luna and a contributor to Hysteria (an anthology of writing by female and nonbinary writers about their biology and anatomy and experiences with the body) I thought doing a reveal of their cover would be a great way to create a dialogue about this amazing collection of works. When E. Kristen Anderson presented the idea, I thought Luna Luna would be the perfect home for this. 

Want your own free copy? Here's how!

1. Tweet or post a link to their fundraiser (or just write a super cute supportive tweet/post about the book).

2. Leave a comment below (with the link to your social post) + your email (so we can contact you!)

3. We'll pick a comment at random and send you the anthology, along with E. Kristin Anderson's gorgeous Lana Del Rey-inspired poetry collection (I've read it, blurbed it and adore it). 
 


LMB: Who is the team behind Hysteria?

EKA: Allie Marini and Brennan DeFrisco gave me the platform to do this anthology when they green-lighted the project at Lucky Bastard, but it’s basically been me and the contributing authors. Allie and Brennan definitely helped with soliciting some fine voices I hadn’t heard of, and have been a great support, so I don’t want to be like, oh, hey, this was all me. But in a lot of ways it was. And it’s been both intense and rewarding.

I think what Hysteria does so well is take a topic that is hard to write about successfully and inclusively (the body and notions of femininity, in many cases) and make it subversive; it's envelope-pushing. What sort of bodies did you want to include here?

It kind of started with me writing erasure/found poetry from tampon packaging. I’m not even kidding. And Allie and I got to talking about a tampon/period anthology and we expanded the idea out to other body-related themes. We went from there.

I certainly did want to push the envelope. But what I found interesting is that some poets that I thought would submit told me (before later submitting and being selected for the anthology) thought their work wouldn’t be edgy enough. And my answer to everyone asking “would my work be suited for HYSTERIA?” was “there are many ways to experience the female body/being female.”

So I wanted lots of bodies. Including nonbinary and trans bodies, which was a little harder because I know that many of these writers have been excluded from this type of project. We went looking, and we found some amazing work.

Tell me a little bit about what spoke to you when selecting content? 

Diversity of topic and voice was really important to me. I wanted—like I mentioned above—lots of experiences to be represented. There was a point at which I think I posted on my original call “no more period poems, we’ve got that covered!” But it wasn’t just about topic. It was also about style. There’s some experimental work in HYSTERIA that I don’t know I would have read or picked up if I were shopping in a bookstore, but that I’m glad showed up in my inbox because it spoke to me within the context of this project. 

And diversity of cultural background was important to me, too. And by cultural background I mean race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity. I really wanted pieces about wearing a hijab. About bat mitzvahs. About non-hetero sex. I hope I did a good job with this.  I hope I found authors and pieces that people enjoy and relate to and learn from.

What do you think the anthology speaks to in the climate we're in right now – as women, as creatives?

You know, every day it feels like there’s something else going down that I want to throw this book at. Women being told their dreadlocks are unprofessional. Women’s tough questions being written off as the result of PMS. (Looking at you, Trump.) Bills being passed that could undo years of work for women’s rights. People trying to tell me, personally, that “hysterical” is just a colloquialism and not a gendered hate word. Folks thinking that just because we’ve achieved parity in one little bubble of the lit world that sexism is over for all of lit. The VIDA counts for big magazines (hello, the Atlantic) and smaller magazines. Songs on the radio. Things I overhear kids say to each other when I write at the Starbucks that’s next to the middle school.

So often we think, well, it’s just a joke. It’s just one guy. It’s just one magazine. It’s just a handful of nut-jobs. It’s just the radical right, and their minds can’t be changed. But! But. Sexism is so ingrained in us that even you and I do sexist things every day without thinking of it. I think I’ve referred to a woman I didn’t like as a bitch even this week.

I hope HYSTERIA gives us a place to talk about uncomfortable subjects, to start and continue conversations with ourselves, our daughters, our peers—but I also hope it’s a place to find comfort and community. Maybe the patriarchy isn’t listening. But maybe we can rally anyway.

I was particularly thrilled to write for this anthology. I am alongside some amazing writers and also emerging ones. How did you vote for pieces? Was this about making a space for all voices, new and established?

I read and selected the submissions myself. Aside from the solicitation—which I did ahead of time, before sending out the call—I just wanted to make sure we had everything covered. I didn’t care if folks were famous or brand new, just that the work was good. And I’m super fortunate that we did get some big names for the anthology. People who said yes when we reached out and asked. But I’m also super fortunate to have new voices with new things to say. Because that’s what community is about and I think that, in a way, that’s what HYSTERIA is about, too.

What are the plans for the anthology? 

I’m hoping to set up a launch party here in Austin, TX when the book is ready. I think it will be a good time, and hopefully, as many contributors as possible can come and read. We’ll definitely be sending out review copies and doing our best to entice booksellers and librarians. We want this book in as many hands as possible. It’s a beautiful book if I don’t say so myself.

How will donations help?

The funds from the Indiegogo campaign are going to help us pay some of the up-front costs (like hiring our cover artist, Jodie Wynne, and the Adobe Cloud account we had to open to manage the many, many contracts for the individual authors) as well as printing. But the biggest reason we wanted to do an Indiegogo was so that we could pay our authors better. So if you can help us out with that, that would be amazing. Should we exceed our goal, any extra funds will go toward a launch and/or future anthology projects at Lucky Bastard Press.

Tell us what it's like to work with Lucky Bastard Press. 

Lucky Bastard was founded by Allie Marini and Brennan DeFrisco and somehow I tricked them into letting me do an anthology with them. They really gave me free reign, which was scary but also really thrilling. I’m now on board with LB as a full editor, but at the time it was just, here, EKA, make a book. So I did. And I’m really excited that it’s with a press that is all about the underdogs and the long-shots. Isn’t that how many of us feel, as artists, especially as women? Lucky Bastard is here to champion the weirdos. And, in this case, it’s the hysterical weirdos that we want to show the world.


 

The writer list, as provided by
Lucky Bastard Press:


 

E. Kristin Anderson

Gayle Brandeis

Allison Joseph

Christine Heppermann

Lynn Melnick

Lizi Giliad

Lisa Marie Basile

Kia Groom

Laura Cronk

Alison Townsend

Amy King

Kirsten Smith

Aricka Foreman

Dena Rash Guzman

Kate Litterer

Paula Mendoza

Sara Cooper

Kirsten Irving

Erika T. Wurth

Natasha Trethewey

Kelli Russel Agodon

Kenzie Allen

Rita Dove

Francesca Lia Block

Patricia Smith

Lesléa Newman

Erin Elizabeth Smith

Tatiana Ryckman

Janna Layton

Mary McMyne

Sarah Lilius

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

Elizabeth Onusko

Katie Manning

Sandra Marchetti

Sarah Ghoshal

Ivy Alvarez

Heather Kirn Lanier

Jane Eaton Hamilton

Jessica Morey-Collins

Sally Rosen Kindred

Laurie Kolp

Gabrielle Montesanti

Sonja Johanson

Meghan Privitello

Deborah Bacharach

Juliet Cook

Sarah Henning

Trish Hopkinson

Alina Borger

Christine Stoddard

Hope Wabuke

Nicole Rollende

Roxanna Bennett

MK Chavez

Catherine Moore

Jesseca Cornelson

Karen Paul Holmes

Lisa Mangini

Shevaun Brannigan

Martha Silano

Jen Karetnick

Emily Rose Cole

Sarah Kobrinsky

Addy McCulloch

Mary Lou Buschi

Sarah Frances Moran

Ellen Kombiyil

Shanna Alden

Julie "Jules" Jacob

Ariana D. Den Bleyker

Sheila Squillante

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Randon Billings Noble

Mary-Alice Daniel

Sarah J. Sloat

Minal Hajratwala

Shikha Malaviya

Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo

Leila Chatti

Sarah B. Boyle

Jennifer K. Sweene

Nicole Tong

MANDEM

E.D. Conrads

Samantha Duncan

Susan Rich

Kristen Havens

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Hila Ratzabi

Joanna Hoffman

Elizabeth Hoover

Letitia Trent

Camille-Yvette Welsch

Erin Dorney

Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick

Anna Leahy

Majda Gama

Erin Lorandos

Amy Katherine Cannon

Nicci Mechler & Hilda Weaver

Mary Stone

Jessica Rae Bergamino

Jennifer Givhan

Hilary King

Sara Adams

Bri Blue

Vicki Iorio

Natasha Marin

Tanya Muzumdar

Miranda Tsang

Jessica L. Walsh

Lucia Cherciu

Melissa Hassard

Nora Hickey

Dorothea Lasky

Siaara Freeman

Deborah Hauser

Suzanne Langlois

Eman Hassan

Amber Flame

Lisa Eve Cheby

Soniah Kamal

M. Mack

Teresa Dzieglewicz

Geula Geurts

Jennifer Martelli

Carleen Tibbetts

Katelyn L. Radtke

Cleveland Wall

Stacey Balkun