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Sinister Wisdom

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Sinister Wisdom is a multicultural, lesbian literary & art journal by and for lesbians. The magazine is the oldest surviving lesbian literary journal; now more than 30 years in print. SW is published quarterly in Berkeley, California and provides free subscriptions to incarcerated and institutionalized women as well as reduced-price subscriptions for lesbians with limited/fixed incomes.

History & Mandate Edit

Founded in 1976 by Harriet Ellenberger (Desmoines) and Catherine Nicholson in Charlotte, North Carolina[1], Sinister Wisdom features only lesbians' work, and is particularly interested in writing, art or photography that reflects diversity of experiences: lesbians of color, ethnic Lesbians, Jewish, Arab, old, young, working-class, poverty class, disabled, and fat lesbians. Author Caryatis Cardea referred to the magazine as a work of "political honor...a commitment to acknowledge the power of language and the privilege of being published...the recognition of multiple struggles, and the accordance of mutual respect among a cultural diversity of lesbians[2] This magazine is now edited in Sebastopol, California by Fran Day.

Selection of ContributorsEdit

Former editors and publishersEdit

  • Harriet Ellenberger (aka Desmoines) and Catherine Nicholson (1976-1981)
  • Michelle Cliff and Adrienne Rich (1981-1983)
  • Michaele Uccella (1983-1984)
  • Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz (1983-1987)
  • Elana Dykewomon (1987-1994)
  • Caryatis Cardea (1991 -1994)
  • Akiba Onada-Sikwoia (1995-1997)
  • Margo Mercedes Rivera-Weiss (1997-2000)
  • Fran Day (2000 to present)

See alsoEdit


  1. Ellenberger, 1991, pg.8
  2. Cardea, 1991, pg.7
  • Ellenberger, Harriet, 'Sinister Wisdom' 43/44 15th Anniversary Retrospective, 1991, pg. 8
  • Cardea, Caryatis, 'Sinister Wisdom' 43/44 15th Anniversary Retrospective, 1991, pg. 7

External linksEdit

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