Hey folks! This week, we take the time to feature two people who have wholeheartedly taken part in the revitalization of Third Woman Press— our interns! Meet Kylie and Samantha, our very own feministas who have been working with us since the summer. Check ‘em out below!
Q. What is your geographic location?
Samantha: I live in San Antonio, Texas and have been born and raised here. It’s the only home I’ve ever known, and as I’ve gotten older and seen more places and cities, I’ve come to realize how much of a gem it is.
Kylie: I was born and raised in east Texas, but I currently call San Antonio home. I moved here a little over three years ago for school and at first it was really difficult, I felt like I had lost myself…but I am lucky enough to still be surrounded by family and amazing friends. It’s made me realize that it’s really the people that you surround yourself with that makes a place feel like home.
Q. How do you define your feminism?
Samantha: Feminism, for me, is not just about deconstructing rigid binaries based off of biological sex and gender. Although these are important to me, feminism also includes fairly representing and uplifting people who have unique experiences based on many other factors such as their race, class, and sexualities. Feminism is for everybody, and feminism is the journey and method and bridge from which we can build ourselves, our relationships, and our futures.
Kylie: I think I need to start by saying that for me feminism was about finding myself, I don’t think I ever truly felt comfortable saying, “this is who I am” before that. So to me, feminism is about building a future where we accept and uplift people for who they are regardless of how they identify, or their sex, gender, race, class, or sexuality. I do believe that we all deserve respect and equal treatment regardless of any of these things, but in order to do so I know that we have to acknowledge that we are different and have different experiences because of these things. I think it’s so important to note that feminism is for everyone, and there are multiple types of feminisms—but for me it’s about acceptance, respect, and trying to help build a society that promotes these things.
Q. What keeps you busy?
Samantha: School, mostly. I’m a senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and I’m studying Psychology and Women’s Studies. This has been my favorite semester by far, from the courses I’m taking to the stuff I’ve been doing as an intern for Third Woman Press. I also work part-time… but that’s not as exciting as school and TWP.
Kylie: This fall I live and breathe school and that includes this dream internship. I’ll be graduating with my bachelors next fall from the University of Texas at San Antonio and I spend my days studying Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and Sociology.
Q. What influenced your decision to work with Third Woman Press?
Samantha: I love literature. I love poetry. I love words. I went through a thing in middle school where I’d scavenge the local library for “lesbian” novels and devour every word, careful to hide the books from my family. It was nice to see things I could relate to, but I didn’t really see myself, my brown skin, my family, my life. I just saw two girls, which was nice and enough for me at the time. It wasn’t until college that I realized how different I was from those books (and so many other forms of media), and that there did exist spaces in which I could see people like me. Places like Third Woman Press. I was first introduced to Third Woman Press through Sara, and I’m thankful for that.
I wanted to give back and contribute for my past, for my present, for my future, and in the hopes that many more womyn could find themselves like I did.
Kylie: I remember the first time I heard about Third Woman Press I was sitting in Sara’s class next to Samantha, and I was in awe hearing about this feminist space that was created for women of color along with other presses in the 70’s and 80’s. I left that day wanting to contribute to that space in any way possible because I have always loved literature and am so inspired by the voices that are being shared… I grew up drinking in the words of others experiences and perspectives, but I think it’s so vital that there is that space there for people to connect and find themselves reflected in the works they read. TWP has made that possible in the past and I can just feel it deep inside me that they will continue to do so for so many readers in the future… so I’m just thankful it exists and that I get to participate and give back to TWP and those future readers.
Q. What is one thing that excites you about the revitalization or what would you like to see TWP do overall?
Samantha: I am excited to see where it goes from here. Third Woman Press was so influential before, and the books and authors associated with it had completely transformed feminism, women’s studies, and the minds of countless people. I can’t even begin to fathom the possibility that what we begin now, however small, may one day have that same rippling effect in the future. More than anything, I want more things to read! I want books, I want poems, I want art.
Kylie: Well of course I’m excited for the new books, poetry, art, and most of all voices being given a space to flourish…but even more than that I’m excited for the impact. Third Woman Press being revitalized is so incredibly important, and I know that the works that will be published are going to touch so many minds, hearts, and souls… I can’t wait for people to find themselves in those works or to come to consciousness through them. I can only imagine the impact TWP is going to have in the future based on how influential their roots are… but I am on the edge of my seat excited to see.
We are pleased and excited as we continue to honor and recognize those who have helped with the revitalization of Third Woman Press! We have so many things planned for our future, and thank everyone for their support. Stay tuned for more Feminist Fistbumps!