Kore Biters is a bi-monthly interview series that highlights the writing and literary activism of women writers who are transgressive and transformative.

by Arisa White and Imani Sims

Unapologetic Solitude & Writing

Despite the Gaze

Tara Betts

To paraphrase an Adrienne Rich quotation about how a poem breaks silence to be made—what silences did you break to create your newest collection?

I wanted to break the silences around divorce—those feelings of shame, failure, and inadequacy, and even if a person feels angry, depressed, or abandoned, you remember there was love, at some point, and you can find it again. I have found that many successful people have confided in me and tried to seek support after their own divorces, but I also feel like this book is about claiming reinvention. You are not a niche, you are not a brand. You are an evolving human being, and even Adrienne Rich was a master of evolution as she wrote more and openly claimed herself sexually and politically. However, I often find myself thinking of Audre Lorde’s quote on breaking silences from “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” from The Cancer Journals: “The fact that we are here and that I speak not these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.  (excerpt, read full interview here)

June-July /Lift You Out of the Pit Sonya Renee Taylor

April-May /On Magic and Lemonade Natasha Marin

March /Black Feminism is My Spiritual Practice Alexis Pauline Gumbs

February /Passing Down the Maps Amanda Johnston

December /What Would Audre Do? with t'ai freedom ford

November/In New Hands with Cate Marvin

October/Being projection-able with Hoa Nguyen

Sept/Playgrounds & Piraguas with Denice Frohman

Aug/ALL the Way Open... with Rae Gouirand

June/Beginning with Her... with Lorna Dee Cervantes

May/Sibilant Sentences & Rhymes with Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

April /Candor is My Default with Airea D. Matthews

Feb / Skin. Muscle. Bones. with Minal Hajratwala

January / Mammoth & Moxie with Rachel McKibbens

Nov-Dec / Mettasphere with Metta Sáma

October / Bitches' Brew with Erika L. Sánchez

Notes From The Motherfield is an edited column of fieldnotes, essays, and writings of various shapes and durations by motherwriters.

Little Book of Herbs by Jenna Korsmo

I quit smoking last summer. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to let go.

My wife and I are parents. We adopted our daughter from foster care recently. It took 2 years. We also have a son that’s been with us for over a year. We are waiting to adopt him, too, but that might not happen due to really complicated, unfortunate, stomp your feet, unfair circumstances. But, it might happen, but it might not, but it might. We love him differently, and my mom who loves being his grandmother says it’s OK, because we’re just people, and we don’t have to love everyone we meet in the same way. But, I want to love him in a way I imagined to. I want my love to fit in the box I imagined it to fit in.

My mom and I used to travel back and forth from Tucson to Phoenix a lot when I was a teenager. She used to play Al Green tapes like she got paid for it. “Listen to this part, Niña,” she would say, “doesn’t that make your heart break?” And it did. I loved watching her in the car listening to music that made her feel that way. I wonder if my children will ever see me like I see her.

[excerpt] see the full piece here.

The Mother Poems Beth Alvarado

Mothering Solo Khadijah Queen

Saving One Another's Lives Makhijani, Chiang, Coleman, MK, Nieves

Motherhood Bringing Things to the Surface by Dungy, Rigby, Moritz

Writing Natural Birth by Toi Derricotte

This is How it Happens by Christine Simokaitis

motherhood is requiring that much by Adria Bernardi

Motherhood as Grand Mal by Soma Mei Sheng Frazier HERE

Living In-Between by Shefali Milczarek-Desai HERE

Invisible Labors by Monica J. Casper HERE



by Sandra Beasley

Weak Ocean

August 2011

The quake was born in Mineral, Virginia, with a magnitude of only 5.8, yet cracks appeared in the Washington Monument. The cathedral lost two pinnacles.

To explain the damage, seismologists will announce that we sit on only the thinnest layer of silts—weak ocean sediments—and beneath that, a hard, crystalline rock whose shaking energy creates an echo chamber of the soft mud.

Previous POWs: Kisha Borja-Quichocho, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Margaret Rhee, Jacqueline Osherow, Jessica Rae Bergamino, Amalia Bueno, Tanya Olson, No'u Revilla, Katharine Coles, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Anjoli Roy, Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, Crystal Williams, celeste doaks, Joy Ladin, Lee Kava, Angela Peñaredondo, Dawn Lonsinger, Cathy Linh Che, Vickie Vértiz, Katie Ford, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Natalie Diaz, Ruth Forman, Shauna Osborn, Adria Bernardi, Kimberly Johnson, Sarah Browning


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UnSilencing Anatomies is a city-wide engagement project designed by Kore Press (inspired by Monica Ong's Silent Anatomies), and developed with her collaborators, including the University of Arizona, Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, La Pilita and other cultural, health and justice centers, designed to promote critical thinking about the medical humanities and related questions of access/justice and racial/gender inequity. The series asks how art and story-telling can disrupt cultural invisibility and impact health disparities and public safety. UnSilencing provides space for community conversation, reflection, and body-based story-telling.

To take the online tour of our 26 "Nerve Centers" around town (sites of social justice, minority health, or significant cultural work) or respond to a prompt with a story for Digital Milagros, our crowdsourced collection of community body stories, go to our online StoryMap here:

Remaining events for UnSilencing Anatomies

Public Health Digital Stories screening, with Creative Narrations, Friday, Oct 21, 6-8pm, at the Tucson YWCA. Q&A and curated screening of digital stories focused on public health made with Creative Narrations over the past 10 years by Tucson’s underserved communities. Drinks and refreshments. Free & open to the public

UnSilencing the Sexual Body, Tuesday, Nov 15, 6-8pm, a short reading and interactive conversation with Katherine Stendefer at SAWS/EXO. $5-$10 donation at the door.


Lidia Yuknavitch selects MING LAUREN HOLDEN's "Refuge" as the winner of Kore's 2016 Memoir Award

"The story we need to hear right now in the only voice that can tell it."—Lidia Yuknavitch

Winner of Bellingham Review‘s 49th Parallel Poetry Award, Chattahoochee Review‘s Lamar York Nonfiction Prize and Glimmer Train‘s Family Matters Fiction Prize, MING HOLDEN is a writer, translator, activist, editor, teacher, humanitarian aid and development worker, and theater artist. She was invited by the United States Embassy to Suriname on a diplomatic speaking engagement under the U.S. Speakers Program to speak about creative writing and theater as tools for empowerment for Women’s History Month in 2014. (Here is the U.S. government press release.) In 2011, she founded the Survival Girls, a self-sustaining theater group for young Congolese women in the slums of Nairobi. Her book about the experience, the nonfiction novella  The Survival Girls, came out in 2013 through Wolfram Productions. Ming also won the USAID worldwide essay contest for inclusion in the USAID Frontiers in Development publication alongside work by Bill Gates, Indra Noori, Paul Collier, and others. Her essay about the Survival Girls got some love from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself in the book’s introduction!  (Ming’s writing about the Girls was also nominated for the AWP Intro Award for Nonfiction.)

Congratulations to the five finalists that broke the judge's heart open:

How to Make Your Mother Cry by Sejal Shah

The End of Tennessee by Rachel Michelle Hanson

The Disinheritance of Fear by Shefali Milczarek-Desai

Mamma Outsider by Asha French

Migrations by Elizabeth McConaghy

see full guidelines and contest info here


Robin Coste Lewis to judge

Kore's 2016 First Book Award

contest now closed, winner announced in Jan

$1500 + publication

see full guidelines and contest info here


Edwidge Danticat to judge

Kore's 2016 Short Fiction Award

contest now closed, winner announced in Dec

$1250 prize + publication

see full guidelines and contest info here


For 23 years, Kore Press has been dedicated to social justice and the voices of women and girls through literary activism--- inspiring and supporting the creative genius of female-identified writers. Kore is one of four feminist presses in the country that has lasted over 20 years and the only one to invest in activism workshops for youth.

Why women & girls?

* 12 of the 102 Nobel Prizes in Literature have gone to women

* Since 1948, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has gone to 18 women & 42 men

* Since its inception in 1923, Time Magazine has had one female editor

* 42% of the members of the New York Times editorial board are women, 42% at The Wallstreet Journal.

Kore Press Membership

Do you believe in the power of women's voices?

If the answer is YES, please consider helping lift up the voices of women writers by becoming a member of the Press. Kore members invest in furthering the Press' mission of progressive social justice through intersectional feminism and literary activism.

Help Kore keep women inspired and talking outloud. Become a member today.


Wear your activism!

Sexy Brains tee-shirts designed by

the young women in the Kore Press Grrls Literary Activism Workshop and printed in partnership with Fed By Threads

$24 NEW shirts

the sale of each shirt feeds 12 hungry folks, and, supports women writers!

Women's V-neck, scoop neck, loose crew neck comes in a variety of colors including the original dark gray with pink ink

(women's 2XL, XL, L, M, S, XS)

Men's loose crew neck comes in dark gray in L

email Jussara to place your order for these NEW shirts here

Kore Press T-Shirts

Kore Press is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary arts organization made possible by grants, book sales, submissions fees, sponsorships, memberships, and gifts from individuals like you.




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Back issues are available here.








$17.95, 6x9," 120 pgs, perfect bound

ISBN 978-1-888553-86-4


$18.95, 6x9," 164 pgs, perfect bound

ISBN 978-1-888553-87-1



by Tracie Morris

$22, 7x10," 128 pgs, perfect bound with audio

ISBN 978-1-888553-91-8

The book & accompanying sounds files (in 17 tracks) are available together for order here; Digital album ($7) and

single tracks ($1) are also available


by Amaranth Borsuk

$16.95, 6x9," 88 pgs, perfect bound

ISBN 978-1-888553-66-6

by Sarah Mangold

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by Allison Campbell

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by Rachel Moritz

$17.95, 6x9," 80 pgs, perfect bound

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by Myha T. Do

Kore Short Fiction Winner selected by Kate Bernheimer

$11, 5.5 x 8.5", 16 pgs, photograph fixed

to cover, staple binding


by Mary Byrne

A Kore Short Fiction Winner selected by Karen Brennan

$11, 5.5 x 8.5", 32 pgs, color cover on kraft paper,

staple binding