Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, Vol. 91
Submission Deadline: June 1, 2014
Publication Date: Fall 2014
Spring Journal is accepting submissions for its Fall 2014 issue “Women’s Voices,” inspired by When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice, the most recent book by American activist and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams, www.coyoteclan.com. This volume also will feature an in-depth interview with the author.
In the opening pages of When Women Were Birds, Terry Tempest Williams tells us what led her to write this book. When she was in her early 30s, her mother, age fifty-four, died of cancer. Shortly before her death, she told Terry: “I am leaving you all my journals . . . But you must promise me that you will not look at them until after I am gone.” (It was a tradition in the Mormon faith for women to keep journals documenting their lives in the Mormon community.) A month after her mother died, Terry found the journals, shelves and shelves of them, all blank. Terry did not write about her inheritance of her mother’s blank journals and what they might signify at that time, but came back to them over twenty years later when she was fifty-four herself, the same age her mother was when she died.
When Women Were Birds contains fifty-four evocative essays by Terry Tempest Williams on “What is Voice?” where she grapples with the meaning behind her mother’s decision to leave her journals blank. She uses the image of the blank journals to explore complex and often contradictory subjects that she relates to issues of women expressing themselves (or not): Story, Secrets, Survival, Silence, Solitude, Suffering, Sovereignty, Speaking Up, Sexuality, Shadow.
When Women Were Birds is filled with quotes that could each alone provide the basis for an article: