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A manifesto for our times

May 30, 2018 — 

GUSH book coverUniversity of Manitoba alumna Tanis MacDonald [MA/00] has teamed up with CBC’s Rosanna Deerchild and UM Press’ Ariel Gordon to write GUSH: menstrual manifestos for our times.

The book will be launched on June 2 at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

In GUSH, more than 100 women and nonbinary writers from Canada and around the world take apart the bloody instruction of menstruation: its cultures, its lessons, its equipment, and its lexicon. GUSH offers menstrual manifestos for our time that question the cultural value and social language of monthly blood loss, with rage, humour, ferocity, and grief, and propose that the menstrual moment is as individualized, subjective, personal, political, and vital as the feminist click. With work from emerging and senior writers in poetry, cartoons, flash fiction, personal essays, lyric confessions, and experimental forms, this anthology features the voices of Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers with disabilities, rural writers and urban writers, representing four generations of menstruators: writers who call down their bloodiest muses.

There are 112 contributors to GUSH from across Canada and even outside its borders, including:

Natalie Appleton, Tasha Beeds, S.M. Beiko, Yvonne Blomer, Alice Burdick, Natalee Caple, Kerry Clare, Lucas Crawford, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Mini Aodla Freeman, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Nora Gould, Susan Holbrook, Dawn Karima, Sylvia D. Hamilton, Sonnet L’Abbe, Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie, Canisia Lubrin, Jeanette Lynes, Chandra Mayor, Pamela Mordecai, Erin Moure, Yvette Nolan, Arleen Pare, Miranda Pearson, Pearl Pirie, Nikki Reimer,  Janet Rogers, Sharanpal Ruprai, Brenda Schmidt, Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, Natalie Zina Walschots, and Jen Zoratti.

How the book came to be

In Gordon’s words:

“In 2016, my period started to go haywire. I was approaching menopause and, as a result, bleeding everywhere all the time. It was intensely frustrating and strangely public—my poor poor office chair—but I was made to feel like it was vulgar and indelicate to talk about it. So I wrote a poem about all of that, the glosa “Gory” that was published by web journal The Goose. I enjoyed the conversation that resulted from sharing that poem and wanted to keep it going, so I approached Tanis and Rosanna, two of the smartest/fiercest women I know, about co-editing a collection of more of the same. They agreed to join me and THEN we started approaching all the smart/fierce writers we knew to add their voices.”

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