Having a visit from Aunty Flo. Moon time. Being on the rag. Whatever we call it, most women menstruate once a month for three decades or more. But in addition to pink-wrapped pads and tampons, Eurowestern women also receive the following messages: don’t talk about your period. Don’t talk about cramps or bleeding through your clothes or having sex while you’re menstruating. Menstrual blood is dirty and talking about it is vulgar. When women do speak up, men often dismiss their politics as moods and hormones and “that time of the month.” But as long as there have been women, we have been telling each other stories about our first periods or that time we stained a chair or a skirt or went swimming for the first time with a tampon. In many Indigenous cultures, menstruation is sacred: menstruating women are considered powerful and connected to the earth.
So let’s talk about menstruation, its onset and its disappearance, with all its counting, calendars, surprises, myths, jokes, embarrassments, power surges, possibilities, stains, equipment, and sheets in cold water. Let’s talk about the body and the land, feminism and the environment, gender and disability, age and class and race.
We want your poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and mixed genre pieces about menstruation for an upcoming anthology: women and non-binary identifying authors only, please.
To submit work, please:
- Send up to 5 poems, or prose and mixed-genre pieces of 2,000 words or less to us at email@example.com.
- Include a 100-word bio.
- Let us know if this piece has been published previously, including where, when, and whether or not you retain the publishing rights to the work.
- Deadline: October 15, 2016
The collection will be published by Frontenac House in fall 2017, and edited by Rosanna Deerchild, Ariel Gordon, and Tanis MacDonald.
Rosanna Deerchild is an award-winning Cree author and broadcaster. Her family is from the O- Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation located near South Indian Lake, Manitoba; she grew up in Thompson, Manitoba. She has worked for a variety of Indigenous newspapers and major networks for over 15 years, including APTN, CBC Radio and Global. Her debut poetry collection, this is a small northern town (Muses’ Company), won the 2009 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry, and she launched her second book, Calling Down the Sky (Bookland Press) in 2015. She is a co-founder and a member of the Indigenous Writers Collective of Manitoba. She lives in Winnipeg and works as the host of Unreserved for CBC Radio One.
Ariel Gordon is a Winnipeg writer with a background in science and journalism. Her second collection of poetry, Stowaways (Palimpsest Press, 2014), won the 2015 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. She is currently writing creative non-fiction about Winnipeg’s urban forest, which is slated for publication in 2018 with Wolsak & Wynn. Gordon works as promotions coordinator at University of Manitoba Press and is a frequent contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press and Prairie Books Now.
Tanis MacDonald is the author of three books of poetry including Rue The Day (Turnstone Press), as well as the non-fiction The Daughter’s Way: Canadian Women’s Paternal Elegies (WLUP). She is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.