HURRAY FOR CONCERTS!
by Cielo Perdomo
Hurray for the concerts in May! Ann
Reed's concert was wonderful, with
many womyn showing up to show a
friendly Texas welcome. I personally
look forward to concerts because it's one
of the few times that I get to see people
in the community. In fact, I see people
whose names I don't even remember but
I KNOW that I know them from
somewhere! My apologies to those to
whom I waved in a friendly, knowing
way, but could not manufacture a name
from my limited memory to save my life.
As for the concert itself, the music was
wonderful... sad, funny, sexy, and
enjoyable in every way. Alas, when I
asked for an autograph for my songbook,
Ann Reed gave me an odd look and
asked to have it spelled... so much for
making an impression.
The Libby Roderick's concert was also
well attended, drawing a larger, and
somewhat different crowd. Alas, I also
was forced to wave knowingly at some
more people, but that embarrassment
was a small price to pay for the
exhiliration of being able to hear Libby
without going to Alaska. Her
performance moved many people to
tears, and laughter. Libby has many
songs which are inspirational to all
people, but especially to womyn. Her
trademark song, "How Could Anyone,"
reached straight into each person's heart
to touch the hurt, shamed parts that
really just want to be loved. She also
humorously poked fun at the insane
things that we live with... Barbie dolls,
and Newt Gingrich. Her hilarious song,
"Why Can't Things Be Simple Like They
Never Were Back Then" is one that I
would LOVE to send certain narrow,
conservative groups who are harking
back to a make believe time that never
existed outside of primetime TV. I hope
that Libby Roderick doesn't wait a
couple years to return back to this neck
of the US ( the 2nd largest state to her
And to my friends SEE YOU
AT THE NEXT CONCERT!!!
^Quotes and Soundbites From Feminist Booksellers on The Importance of
^Feminist Bookstores to Feminist and Mainstream American Culture
"We have a commitment to carry and disseminate progressive ideas, not merely to sell commodities.
% We do so much more than sell books; over the last ten years we have helped innumerable women through life
% crises, not by counseling them, but by empowering them about the choices they have."
ft— Tollie Miller, Co-Owner, A Readers Feast, Hartford, Conn.
"Feminist bookstores are a resource the chains can never be. We have twenty years of history about
% our communities and our movement; people come to us to make use of the knowledge we have acquired. We
% are consistent. For example, we don't suddenly alter our face for Gay/Lesbian Book Month or Women's
4v History Month. We are there for lesbian and bisexual women - for all women- all the time."
% — Gilda Bruckman, Co-Owner, New Words, Cambridge, Mass
When asked, "How are feminist bookstores dealing with competition from the chains?" Jane Troxelt
^ co-owner of Lammas Bookstores (in DC and Baltimore, MD) emphasizes "customer service, knowledge of
0 the literature, community resource and dedication. We don't wait for women to come to us, we reach out in as
% many ways and directions as possible. We also organize special events for the community, such as self-
% defense classes, financial planning workshops, camping and rafting trips." She adds with a laugh, "We may
% carry fewer mainstream bestsellers, but Crown doesn't have menstrual goddesses or Margie Adam tapes."
4v — Jane Troxell, Co-Owner, Lammas Bookstores, Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD
"The demands on a feminist bookstore are high. In addition to selling books and running a business
4g we also do referrals, sell tickets, provide emotional support, listen, and lots of other things that can only exist
<^ when customers matronize the business. It's hard, sometimes, when you know someone buys lots of feminist
M books, but the only time they come into the store is to post a flier."
M -Pokey Anderson, Owner, Inklings Bookshop, Houston, Tex.
0 "If people buy books at Barnes & Noble, small stores (including feminist stores) will go out of
YA business, feminist presses will suffer and books will disappear. This is how economics creates censorship ~
yx book buyers contribute to their own censorship by supporting the chains. If book buyers allow this to happen,
vk Barnes & Noble (and the other chains) will decide what gets sold, what is in print, the size of print runs, and
^ ultimately, what people have access to. The question is not who gets a piece of the pie; the pie itself will be
M drastically changed. And don't expect feminist and other progressive causes to be part of what's left."
/6 - Sally Owen, co-owner of the recently closed Judith's Room, New York City
"To have intellectual, political and literary diversity, we must have diversity in the marketplace.
i% Without feminist bookstores, the kinds of books you see your local feminist bookstore will, for the most part,
$$m cease to exist. Every time each of us invests in a feminist bookstore, we are helping to protect the range of
w literature available: from lesbian and gay novels to nonsexist, non-racist children's books, from goddesses centered books to feminist theory. The future of progressive and quality publishing is in our hands-simply by
% making conscious decisions about where we spend our money."
% ~ Theresa Corrigan Lioness Books, Sacramento, Calif.
yk "There exists in this country, whether people are aware of it or not, in interrelated network of
^ feminist booksellers, feminist and lesbian book publishers, periodicals, who work with writers to get certain
<% kinds of truth in to print and into the world. WTien we are successful, the mainstream publishing industry
^ notices and says, 'Oh, that's a good idea, we'll publish some of that.' But if we don't put those ideas out into
J% the world first, if we don't prove that there's interest (or, as the corporate publishers say, 'a market') for those
#h ideas, they never show up in mainstream publishing and chain bookstores. Sometimes people find these kinds
" of books in chainstores or at the discount store and think, 'Oh, we've made the mainstream now.' But the fact
is that if feminist bookstore and publishers disappeared, you can be sure that all those feminist books and
ideas would disappear from the corporate bookstores and publishers just as quickly. The information industry
in this country is, like anything else, an ecosystem. If you let any part of it die off, the rest of the parts will
also go into a decline." -- Carol Seajay, publisher of The Feminist Bookstore News, The trade magazine
ffi for feminist bookstores, San Francisco, Calif