Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm glad she was born

from the writer's almanac today:
It's the birthday of the novelist Rita Mae Brown, born in Hanover, Pennsylvania (1944), who wrote Rubyfruit Jungle (1973), one of the first lesbian coming-of-age novels ever published in America. It was rejected by all the major publishers, so she went with a tiny press called Daughters, Inc., with no real advertising budget, but the book got passed around and became a word-of-mouth best seller, selling more than a million copies.

I was 15 the first time I read Rubyfruit Jungle, and I re-read it so many times, and so appreciatively, that I could probably act out the whole thing for you. anytime. just say the word. The same goes for a few other books... Franny & Zooey, for one. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. anytime.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

the 2008 Mama Calendar is here and ready to go!

Get them while they're hot, at the New Orleans Bookfair (specifically, at the MamaPhiles table in Ray's Boom Boom Room) this Saturday or through the mail...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Orleans Bookfair Saturday

Check out the Bookfair, Saturday, November 10, from 10 til 6, for the debut of the 2008 Mama Calendar, as well as assorted books, zines, music, readings, kid's stuff, and this workshop:

Building Community Support for Radical Parents and Children

The majority of visible activists and radicals do not have caretaking duties within their collective enterprises and thus might ignore their minority parent participant's concerns. When hetero couples have kids, the dads usually continue their activist work. Mothers aren't given any recognition for doing childrearing and/or the childcare that allows fathers to continue their political work. The movement tends to write off mothers who aren't at meetings or actions, failing to recognize that mothers need the support of their communities and activist groups if they are to continue contributing their experiences, insight and expertise without becoming overburdened.

Not everyone has the same issues but any ones oppression should matter to all. Working class parents, single mothers, women of color, parents of special needs children have different degrees of struggle. Rad dads who are primary or equal caretakers can feel alienated by sexist assumptions. But everyone, of all varying abilities, stages, and ages, deserves respect.

The subculture mimics, to a degree, the greater society's unreasonable expectations of parents (mothers especially) and children. Let's learn how to work together in new ways. By valuing the involvement/work of parents and caretakers, we form a more vibrant culture of resistance; and we teach the young the vision we want to see of a more equitable future by including them in our activities now.

This will be a discussion between both parents and non-parents, on concrete ways childfree allies can support parents and children in their community. Good for everyone!

Co-presented by:

China Martens is the author of "The Future Generation: A Zine-Book For Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends & Others" (an anthology of the last 15 years of her zine!) published by Atomic Books Company , a single mother of a 19-year-old daughter, and the co-ordinater of Kidz Corner @ the Radical Mid-Atlantic Bookfair in Baltimore.

Coleen Murphy grew up tagging along to various activist gatherings with her mother. She is an unschooled kid turned unschooling parent who publishes the Mama Calendar and a zine called Once Upon a Photobooth, and helped to coordinate a space for kids at last year's New Orleans Bookfair.

Exact time and location TBA...

Thursday, November 01, 2007