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

Lift You Out of the Pit

Sonya Renee Taylor

Tell us about The Body is Not an Apology and how you came to create this space.

On February 9, 2011, I posted a Facebook status and profile picture of myself in a saucy black corset. I had been hiding the photo in my phone for months, feeling somehow wrong for finding my own big, brown, queer body beautiful. Despite this fear and shame I posted the photo anyway. This terribly frightening act was birthed from the outlandishly simple idea that no human being should be ashamed of being in a human body.

Less than 24 hours after posting that picture, people across the country began posting their own pictures and stories. Folks began sharing photos of empowered, perfectly imperfect bodies, shaped by differences in age, race, size, gender, dis/ability, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, class, and other attributes. They were willing to exist unapologetically for just that moment.

(excerpt, read full interview here)

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.

The Motherhood Poems with Beth Alvarado

On the birth of my first grandchild

The baby was born early. Eight weeks early to be exact. They now count gestation in weeks not months. I stood in the hall and heard his first cry. Like a kitten, small and mewing. He was small. Four pounds, three ounces.

For six weeks the baby will be in neonatal ICU, which they say like this: Nick-U, as if it is a small university. There are monitors and feeding tubes and other tiny babies in their incubators. People look sad when they see the pictures of the baby but he is our baby and we are not sad. Smaller babies are born everyday.

Has the baby gone home? Has the baby gone home? Has the baby gone home?

[excerpt] see the full piece here.

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 Kisha Borja-Quichocho



Like the tåsa and haligi of the ancient Chamoru latte stone,
so, too, does your body               maintain the shape
of the healthy                             Chamoru woman.
With those                           full-figured hips,
features delivered
through natural birth for generations,

Previous POWs: 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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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.


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.
























































UnSilencing Anatomies (inspired by Monica Ong's Silent Anatomies) is a city-wide collaboration between Kore Press and her partners, 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.

Kick-off events for UnSilencing Anatomies October 1 -7

Reception/Meet-N- Greet with Author Monica Ong, Saturday, Oct 1, 5:30-7pm Sosa-Carrillo- Freemont House, 151 S Granada. Welcome visiting author Monica Ong and hear about Kore Press’ Open Assembly of readings, talks, panel, story-telling and other creative opportunities.

University class visits, Monday, Oct 3, 2-4pm, Monica Ong to visit Honor's College and College of Public Health (Health Disparities in Minority Populations) classes.

Author Talk/Scholar’s Panel, Wednesday, Oct 5, 6pm, Drachman Hall, College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona. Join authors, professors and scholars for a panel discussion and talks investigating the nuances surrounding “client-provider” relations.

Talk: Poetry as a Partner in Public Health: Monica Ong, author of Silent Anatomies, gives a multi-media reading and talk about how communities can turn to poetry to expand cultural competence in public health.

-Panel, with Ken McAllister, Monica Ong, Monica Casper, Deanna Lewis, Ron Grant, and TC Tolbert. In-depth examination of the power differentials, communication barriers, fears, and cultural assumptions that shape public health and public safety and potentially perpetuate silences, and/or aggression and misunderstanding.

Reading and Story-Gathering: Monica Ong and Kore Press at Tucson Meet Yourself, Friday, Oct 7, 12:30 pm, Tucson Meet Yourself. Author Monica Ong will read from her work at the “Kitchen Stadium,” and Kore Press will gather community stories about “taste memories” in the “Gastronomy Exhibit," 11-1pm.

Artist Talk /exhibit viewing, Monica Ong, Friday, Oct 7, 4 pm, UA Poetry Center. Design Thinking & Poetry: New Literacies of the Body. Monica Ong will give a multi-media mini reading and artist talk as a vehicle for creating dialogue among medical, humanities, and cultural communities on silences of the body.

Streetcar performance with Poets TC Tolbert and Kristen Nelson, Friday, Oct 7, 5:30 pm, Bio 5 tterminus, near UA Poetry Center. Ride the street car with poets TC Tolbert and Kristen Nelson who will perform their works and other’s. A group reading will be presented at our final destination, La Pilita Cultural Center.

UnSilencing Anatomies group reading, Friday, Oct 7, 6pm, with Monica Ong, curated by TC Tolbert and Kristen Nelson. La Pilita Cultural Center (next to El Tiradito shrine) 420 S. Main Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701

Public Health Digital Stories screening, with Creative Narrations, Friday, Oct 21, 6-8pm, at the 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.

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


Robin Coste Lewis to judge

Kore's 2016 First Book Award

Sept 30, 2016 NEW DEADLINE

winner receives $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

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. See full Q&A here.

Lidia Yuknavitch to judge

Kore's 2016 Memoir Award

contest is closed; winner announced in Oct

see Lidia's TED 2016 blog

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."



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."


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.



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


Get literary activist news, writing, reporting, and events directly to your inbox with Kore Press Points

Back issues are available here.











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


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


"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


"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




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