Judith Arcana has taught and written about motherhood and reproductive justice for decades. The prose and poetry of Our Mothers’ Daughters, Every Mother’s Son, and What if your mother are feminist classics. The linked stories in her new collection, Hello. This is Jane., are rooted in her experience as a Jane in Chicago’s pre-Roe v. Wade underground abortion service. These stories were written as the United States has moved relentlessly into constraining motherhood and denying reproductive justice. By necessity, these stories reach from the past into the future, offering history and hope.
Cindy Cooper, Founding Director of Words of Choice and The Reproductive Freedom Festival, says that “Judith Arcana’s remarkable feat in Hello. This is Jane. is to paint, tile by tile, a complex mosaic of compelling linked stories— children’s playgrounds and adult tattoo parlors, ill-advised lovers and underground abortion activists. In the mainstream and on the edges, you’ll feel the urgency of the struggle for reproductive justice as you turn these pages.”
Interwoven with the central theme of reproductive health and justice, tattoos & tattooing appear in these stories, another instance of choice about how we live in our bodies. Left Fork is thankful to Don Deaton of Sea Tramp Tattoo, Oregon’s longest-running tattoo shop, for the use of the cover rose design. (Temporary tattoos and stickers of the cover rose image will be available at Judith’s readings in support of the book. )
Though you can pre-order the book now from Bookshop.org, we encourage those in the Portland area to attend a book release event. (More information on readings soon).
About the Author – Judith Arcana is a Jane, a member of Chicago’s pre-Roe underground abortion service. She writes poems, stories, essays and books, including a much-loved biography of Grace Paley (Grace Paley’s Life Stories) and several poetry collections: What if your mother, 4th Period English, The Parachute Jump Effect, Announcements from the Planetarium, and Here From Somewhere Else, which received the Editor’s Choice Chapbook Award from Turtle Island Quarterly.
She hosts a poetry show on KBOO in Oregon and online. Born and raised in the Great Lakes region, Judith has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1995. For more about, and examples of, her work, visit JudithArcana.com.
OTHER LEFT FORK/FLOWSTONE TITLES BY JUDITH ARCANA:
Announcements from the Planetarium
Announcements from the Planetarium examines aging, changing, moving, memory, and more. The collection includes poems from Arcana’s Mixtape Series and her Speculative Music Theory quartet. As Judith Vollmer writes, “Judith Arcana’s poems [are] both familiar and refreshingly strange …. jagged elegies on ‘time available’ and ‘the short version,’ dazzling crows, lonely streets, and mournful seers, with a hyper-realist eye on the past.” The book is available now from Amazon.com. Learn more about the book and the author, and read a poem from the collection here.
Here From Somewhere Else
According to Jennifer Richter, “Judith Arcana’s gorgeous new collection, has movement at its core. Many of these poems are fueled by questions—questions that generate a powerful urgency and contribute to the book’s compelling internal momentum.” The book received the 2015 Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Chapbook Award. Available now from Amazon.com.