Women Arts Quarterly launches its slender first issue with poetry by Julia Gordon-Bramer and Kelli Allen, a novel excerpt by Jacinda Townsend, nonfiction by Beth McConaghy, an interview with violist Kim Kashkashian, artwork by Ellen Baird and Vanessa Woods, and a music review. The journal “aspires to nurture, provide support, and challenge women of all cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and abilities in their role in the arts and seeks to heighten awareness and understanding of the achievements of women creators, providing audiences with historical and contemporary examples of the work of women writers, composers, and artists.” The inclusion of work about and by composers is unusual and does distinguish WAQ from other publications.
Gordon Bramer’s poem, “Sylvia Plath Jogged Past,” sets the tone and standard for future issues’ poetry:
I was running in the other direction. I almost didn’t
notice. She was plugged in
to her iPod, behind dark
glasses, wearing a Hughes
University T, and white Nikes.
…she smiled, said Oh,
it’s just you. Get back
I am starving
The issue’s most striking feature is a series of exquisite black and white photographs by Vanessa Woods, a San Francisco Art Institute graduate whose work has been exhibited internationally. The photos are close-ups of natural objects that turn dreamy in their detail. I was pleased to be introduced to this gifted photographer’s work and look forward to future issue of the journal and the opportunity to be introduced to musicians, composers, visual artists, and writers whose work in not otherwise accessible or available to most readers.