Kore at AWP LA

Kore Poets Reading & Book Release

Friday, April 1, 5:30, LA Hotel Downtown's Bar9:

Sarah Mangold, Laynie Browne, Tracie Morris, Amaranth Borsuk, Allison Campbell, Cori Winrock

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

by Arisa White and Imani Sims

Black Feminism is My Spiritual Practice

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

When and how did you come to the realization that you could use writings by black feminists, such as Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Barbara Smith, as sacred texts?

I grew up with a major interest in world religions. I was interested in how people made sense of the world and how they turned back to specific texts and stories to bring them grounding, guidance and peace in the face of change, death and possibility. Black feminism is my spiritual practice because it is the tradition that has given me grounding, guidance and if not peace, certainly passion in the face of change, death and possibility in my life. And the changes, deaths and possibilities I face (and that all of us face in this time) are absolutely shaped by the interlocking oppressions black feminism seeks to obliterate and the multiplicity of being and knowing that black feminism activates. That's the longer answer. The short answer is that those texts are sacred because they saved my life and I also believe they hold key concepts that could allow us as a species to save our relationship with this planet. 

(excerpt, read full interview here)

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.

Mothering Solo with Khadijah Queen

"Mothering is the ultimate convergence of public and private. From the moment your belly swells, the fact that you are/have been sexually active becomes publicly displayed. The implicit questions: Who has impregnated you? Does he have cultural/institutional permission? Do you, expectant mother, have permission? Where is the piece of paper/(in)expensive ornament on your hand that says so?

Then, assumptions begin—your body changes, and strangers act as witness. Sometimes, they want to touch you. You are full of life; you are sensitive, physically and emotionally. You are urgent in every way, and strangers, smiling, touch you, often without permission, ask you personal questions. You might feel okay about that, or you might be offended. The point is—vision. Outside, inside. How you see yourself in relation to others, how they see themselves in relation to you. We are all of us mirrors. We see what we want, we look for what we want or look for what we fear." [excerpt] see the full essay here.

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 Jessica Rae Bergamino

My Wilderness

    Voyager 1 in the Termination Shock


When you leave the sky you don't become a new sky,

don't spike to cloud or dust-slushed nebula,

violently pink in pillars of shine.

When you leave you don't become the leaving,

don't carry the rapture of rupture.

There's no map to unfold,

no destination, no crease to smooth

from stocking or hem.

Instead, you slum inside your own cool

body, your body a coffin,

your going a star on some old flag

as still and empty as the moon.

Previous POWs: 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

Award-winning novelist and memoirist Edwidge Danticat is this year’s judge for Kore Press’ Short Fiction Award. Having fallen in love as an undergrad with Danticat’s Krik? Krak!, a collection of short stories that brought the beauty and heartache of Haiti to the attention of the American literary scene, it was such a pleasure to ask her about her writing process and inspirations. Danticat has written and edited several books, including The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker, Brother, I’m Dying, the anthology Haiti Noir, and the young adult novel Untwine. Born and raised in Haiti until immigrating to Brooklyn, New York at age twelve, Danticat has been writing since she was nine years old. A graduate from Brown University’s MFA program and a 2009 recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, she currently lives in Miami with her husband and daughter, and continues to advocate for issues affecting Haitians, here and aboard. Q&A here.

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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.


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Robin Coste Lewis to judge

Kore's 2016 First Book Award

July 15, 2016 NEW DEADLINE

winner receives $1500 + publication

see full guidelines and contest info here


Edwidge Danticat to judge

Kore's 2016 Short Fiction Award

June 30, 2016 NEW DEADLINE

see Arisa White's interview with Edwidge here

winner receives $1250 prize + publication

see full guidelines and contest info here


Lidia Yuknavitch to judge

Kore's 2016 Memoir Award

June 15, 2016 NEW DEADLINE

see Lidia's TED 2016 blog

winner receives $1000 prize + publication

see full guidelines and contest info here



2015 First Book Award winner

Zayne Turner for "Body Burden"


winner receives $1500 plus publication

Tracie Morris: "This manuscript is visceral, bold and expansive. The writing and its organization is physically impactful. The range of writings and the seamless ways in which very different types of writing interact with each other unites driven and divergent environments of poetic thought. Body Burden inhabits the body. It's a pleasure to read, see and *feel* with the body."

Zayne Turner, grew up in the rural High Desert of Oregon. She is the author of the chapbook Memory of My Mouth, from dancing girl press, and chapbooks and broadsides published in her name and collaboratively as T.H. Peros by Edison St. Press. She has received grants and fellowships for literary & visual arts from the Arteles Creative Center in Finland, Oregon Arts Commission, Vermont Studio Center and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She lives and works in Minneapolis

Finalists: Nancy Chen Long & Leah Huizar

Morris: "Light Into Bodies fills the senses with the cracks and crinkles, the delicate reverberations that indicate the fragility of life. It's understatement and economy fully engages unsettling remembrances for the reader as someone who engages in this world, this family as well as the ghosts of one's own."     
Nancy Chen Long is the author of the chapbook Clouds as Inkblots for the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013). Recent work is in Bat City Review, Pleiades, Superstition Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. As a volunteer with the local Writers Guild, she coordinates a reading series and offers free poetry workshops to the public. Nancy has a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology, an MBA and MFA, and worked as an electrical engineer, software consultant, and project manager. She currently works at Indiana Universi
ty in the Research Technologies division.

Morris: "The landscape in this beautiful manuscript is rich, verdant and a tough terrain. The book presents work through an unflinching panoramic vision. I enjoyed experiencing these poems of "Inland Empire" over and over."  

Leah Huizar  is a Mexican-American writer originally from Southern California. She holds an MFA from The Pennsylvania State University and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, Nashville Review, and elsewhere.


2015 Kore Press Short Fiction Winner

Tayler Heuston for "Hostages"


winner receives $1250 prize plus limited edition and e-pubs

Roxane Gay: "'Hostages' is the best kind of short story--multi-layered, nuanced, rich with detail. Henry and Therese Hines have a seemingly normal life, a happy marriage, until the FBI shows up, and their neighbors learn that many years ago, Henry kidnapped Therese, and she has, it seems, been his hostage for decades. Hostages isn't their story though, not really. Instead, this is a story of a woman who hardly knew the Hines's trying to make sense of the public spectacle of trauma and the ways in which we can be drawn to the people or things that hurt us."

Tayler Heuston, 26-year old California-native, just completed an MFA in fiction writing at North Carolina State University. She received the Robbie S. Knott endowment in 2014, and was a finalist for the 2015-2016 Wisconsin Institute Fellowship. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Two Serious Ladies, Spectrum, Into the Teeth of the Wind, and she has a story forthcoming in At Length Magazine. She is also a fiction reader for the Raleigh Review. Tayler lives in Raleigh, NC.

For 22 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 Kore Press? "I used to think the function of art was the transformation of sorrow, but I now think it is the transformation of consciousness."—Jane Miller


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.

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

$24 NEW shirts created in partnership with the inspiring Fed By Threads

(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

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

email Jussara to place your order for these NEW shirts here

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handholding: 5 kinds by Tracie Morris

"As anyone who's gone to the movies or a poetry reading or church in Black neighborhood or an Indian neighborhood knows we *talk back*. We have to in order to make our own space in the performance, our own space in the world. Morris is mighty in time and sound and this book is a score but also an instructional manual for the creation of similar art. Stein, Kubrick, Cage, Schwitters and Alomfrah may be her starting points--Mullen, Bernstein and the art of benshi her muses on the journey--but the power of Morris' mind and poetry happen in the *moment* and it is entirely her own.” — Kazim Ali 

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

(If you buy this book in person and it does not yet have an audio download sticker inside, please email us for a download code and we will gladly send it to you)

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

ORDER NOW, available April 5


Pomegranate Eater by Amaranth Borsuk

"A dazzling, sensual, & brilliantly inventive invitation to taste what André Gide called, The Fruits of the Earth--as well as an offering of those more suspect pomegranate seeds from that place below. Persephone’s breath animates these exquisite lines, these wry hymns and provocative psalms of both profusion and reckoning. Already known as one of our most compelling poetic marauders in recent poetry, Amaranth Borsuk proves once again that she is the poet to watch as we enter this next century of new poetic mythologies and of radical technologies as well. Don’t miss this truly amazing book."—David St. John

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

ISBN 978-1-888553-66-6

ORDER NOW, available April 5


"We’re often told that we live in a narcissistic age, and this book takes us completely out of our world and delivers us to a different planet, spiritually and emotionally. Giraffes of Devotion is a tour de force, and much, much more—poetry in its most serious and moving incarnation."—Edward Smallfield

$16.95, 6x9," 72 pgs, perfect bound

ISBN 978-1-888553-90-1

ORDER NOW, available April 5


"Just when we thought it was all wall-to-wall Wikipedia, a new and ingenious, intrepid, inventive romp through knowledge appears—an encyclopédie that acknowledges Diderot and d’Alembert's groundbreaking work—and then goes off entirely on its own. The

genius begins in the carefully curated selection of entries and continues in an oddball bouncy prose full of unexpected specifics. Brilliant through and through, and punctuated by perfect pictures that don’t so much illustrate as invigorate, it’s a page-turner—one that, as Diderot claimed, will “change the way people think.”—Cole Swenson

$16.95, 5x7," 52 pgs, perfect bound

ISBN 978-1-888553-89-5

ORDER NOW, available April 5




some said you were the spitting image of evil

by t'ai freedom ford

$10, 11x17" limited edition broadside

Winner of The Feminist Wire Poetry Contest, selected by Evie Shockley

portion of sales goes to support The Feminist Wire.

Borrowed Wave by Rachel Moritz

"We sometimes view beauty with suspicion—how does the pleasure it affords seduce us, mislead us? The startling beauty of Rachel Moritz’s poems serves a different purpose. This beauty spatializes experience as an exquisite, if partially remembered—wavering—landscape."

—Elizabeth Robinson

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

ISBN 978-1-888553-67-3


To Boil Water by Myha T. Do

Kore Short Fiction Winner selected by Kate Bernheimer

"To Boil Water is so iconoclastic, so elliptical and so very mystic—I just couldn't stop thinking about it. This story channels Yoko Ono via Franny Glass; it’s a prayer: an occult and traditional meditation on loss that lives in the past and future at once."Kate Bernheimer

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

to cover, staple binding


A Parallel Life by Mary Byrne

A Kore Short Fiction Winner selected by Karen Brennan

“This remarkable story traces the life of a Serbian woman, Zorica, marooned for years in Paris, struggling with illiteracy, bureaucracy, aging and the forces of history that have shaped her life. Told by a nameless narrator with an effortless blend of humor and pathos, “A Parallel Life” is structured like a document—eschewing the traditional dramatic action of literary realism and straddling the borderland between fiction and nonfiction."—Karen Brennan

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

staple binding