Tanaya Winder & Casandra Lopez launch Special Issue of As/US


Over the years Albuquerque has been blessed with the presence and contributions of many great writers and literary activists. Recently, Tanaya Winder and Cassie Lopez were students in the UNM MFA program. Not only did they contribute to the growth of the UNM  community, but also became involved in the local literary scene. Tanaya even served as the first seasonal coordinator of Local Poets Guild, offering three tremendous events including a Triptych on the theme of Bridging Borders in which Lopez was featured. Since graduation, they are swiftly becoming literary forces nationally and Albuquerque is blessed to know them.

Now Casandra Lopez and Tanaya Winder are cofounders and editors, along with Christine Trudeau, of As Us, A Space for Women of the World, a new literary journal appearing online and also with forthcoming print issues. They write, “The mission of the magazine As/Us is to showcase the creative literary expressions and scholarly work of both emerging and established women writers from around the world. We are interested in publishing works by underrepresented writers particularly Indigenous women and women of color.”

The first issue launched in January and featured an interview with Joy Harjo and strong poetry and prose from many women writers, including Shauna Osborn, Lyla June Johnston, Tacey M. Atsitty, Valentina Cano, nila northSun, Yasmeen Najmi, Juanita E. Mantz, Tria Andrews, Justine Kao, Marianne A. Broyles, Julie Lythcott-Haimes, Layli Long Soldier, Erika Wurth, Jennifer Givhan, Alicia Lawrence, Lesley Belleau, Leanne Simpson, LaEsha Sanders, Kaylanah Shendo, Linda Boyden, & Venaya Yazzie. A tremendous issue, which is forthcoming soon in a print edition.

Following that issue, Casandra and Tanaya accepted an invitation from  Lauren Chief Elk, co-founder of the Save Wiyabi Project, to put together a special issue supporting both that project and One Billion Rising. The result went live on V-Day, with contributions in prose, poetry, dance and visual art, from both men and women who offer thematic consideration of many different facets of violence against women. Included are works by Hank Richardson, Lauren Chief Elk, Takeo Rivera, Natalia Duong, Hakim Bellamy, Jessica Helen Lopez, Ricky Triana, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Alejandro Jimenez, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Cuauhtemoc Peranda, Carlos Contreras, Michelle Brooks, Richard Vargas, Michelle Otero, Reed Bobroff, Erika L. Sanchez, Molina Speaks, Margaret Randall, Scott Hernandez, Aaron Yazzie, Poetic Theater Productions, plus contributions from editors Casandra Lopez and Tanaya Winder.  (I also have short prose in the issue.)

All I can say thank you. Thank you Casandra and Tanaya for all your work and your vision and thank you to all the contributors and everyone on staff who helps with the magazine. As Us matters.

And as a writer, a reader, a member of the global community, I want to encourage anyone who finds this particular LPG blog post to check out As US, issue one, and the special February issue, and also consider submitting. Guidelines are available at the website. Summer issue will have guest editor Samantha Tetangco. And support the magazine if you can, by reading, by writing, by spreading the word, by buying the print issues or making a donation… this is good work.

Meanwhile, let us all keep reading, writing, voicing…

–Lisa Gill