Art is Vital Social Labor, a Letter from Lisa Bowden

From the heart and mind of Lisa Bowden. . .

I was entrusted with carrying voices, songs, and stories to grow and release into the world, to be of assistance and inspiration.—Joy Harjo

In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. R. Buckminster Fuller


Dear Readers,

I hope you’ve been enjoying our new website. We are also now launching a new monthly newsletter, and I’ll be writing letters to you, to bring you a little closer into the regular workings and thinking at the Press, from my perspective. You can sign up for our news here.

This column, Letters from the Director, will be a curatorial whispering, an invitation to lean in closer to happenings and wonderings, and will offer a preview of our upcoming news. I welcome you, readers, friends of Kore: your questions, your listening, your sexy brains, your voices.

Have you heard the news?

This month sees the last new book out from our spring list – we are proud to release four hot poetry titles (Gropp! Slomkowska! Lee! Turner!) and we are excited to share the stunning news that Cheryl “Dear Sugar” Strayed will judge our next memoir contest! We are also launching a new drive this month, so look out for news about all the goodness that’s slated to come out from the Press this Fall.

 I invite you to join us in all three endeavors. If you feel the love for Kore, please share!

Did you know?

We at Kore understand that making art is a vital social labor, not a market-driven product. And, therefore we need your support.

The poetic urge is an urge to express the extraordinary, and the urgency of utterance depends on the freedoms and access we provide for poets to speak.

We care for this literary and justice-oriented enterprise as we do for our families and communities. “Kore” is the Greek word for daughter. And, riffing off of the Persephone myth—we embrace digging for deeper meanings as an organizational ethos and a creative framework.

We make art, do cultural justice work, and elevate the voices of women with the knowledge that we are a part of the local and national community, and we are dedicated to contributing to its health in these ways. We essay in public – curating our programming from the books that we publish, and from artists, thinkers and writers that create innovative ways of propelling public discourse in public spaces.

We at Kore understand that the role of storytelling is sacred.

For more information about Kore Press, and how to get involved with your support, visit here.


Lisa Bowden

Lisa Bowden, Publisher and Co-Founder, is the editor of Autumnal: A Collection of Elegies, co-editor of Powder: Writing by Women in Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq, and co-adapter and director of Coming in Hot (a play based on Powder). She has developed Kore’s long list of authors and award winning programming as a literary activist, artist, and feminist culture worker. She is a recipient of the Maryann Campau Fellowship for poetry from the University of Arizona Poetry Center and a Woman on the Move Award from the YWCA. A poet who works with an improvisational ensemble of dancers, writers, and musicians called Movement Salon, Lisa has studied English and Philosophy at the University of Arizona and in London. She lives in Tucson with her partner Eve and daughter Djuna. Her poetry can be found at,, and

Contributed by Lisa Bowden