women's literary history

The VIDA Count: Lifting Women’s Voices

Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie     VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts is an organization that works for gender parity and justice for women writers. […]

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Writing Past Silence with Virginia Woolf

“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?” Muriel Rukeyser once asked then said, “The world would split open.”   My world split open last Thursday night when I taught the first Writing Women’s Lives™ class at Riverviews Artspace in Lynchburg, Virginia. Eight women joined me around a large oak table […]

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“That Damn Rope”: What Women Writers Can Learn from Women Cops

I recently attended a panel on Women in Law Enforcement at Lynchburg College, where I learned that women, once excluded from law enforcement, now make up roughly 15 percent of sworn personnel. Fifteen percent. I could not help but think of the VIDA Count with its disparaging numbers illuminating the underrepresentation of women writers in […]

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The VIDA 2011 Count and 5 Ways to Flip Silencing the Bird

As far as the numbers go, The 2011 Count is not much different from The 2010 Count. Women writers are still wildly underrepresented in prominent literary publications. But The 2011 Count is peppered with quotes culled from the conversation sparked by The 2010 Count. This is new. People are talking about the reality women writers face […]

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