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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
May 12, 2015

Lost Horse Press receives Grant from Bonner County Human Rights Task Force


In January 2009, after President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter   Fair Pay Act into law, his first legislative act after taking office, poets Carolyne Wright and Eugenia Toledo began to think about the need to hear more from women about their workplace experiences—not just pay and promotion inequity, or workplace harassment and intimidation, but all matters relevant to women and work in an increasingly globalized world, including the ever-widening range of occupations in which women are engaged, and their joy and satisfaction of work well done.

 Six years after the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, however, women’s pay has continued to average 77 cents for every dollar earned by men; pay for women of color has averaged even lower. Despite the activism of the Occupy Movement, more congressional legislation for women’s pay, and a rising minimum wage in many states, women’s overall pay continues to lag, even at the highest levels of elite careers!

 Meanwhile, Wright and Toledo, along with co-editor M. L. Lyons, set out to edit an anthology of poetry about women in the workplace, knowing that it would be a daunting, yet important task. They hoped to bring together voices of women poets in the workspaces they occupy—much as Studs Terkel illuminated the lives of working people in his interviews, as Woody Guthrie celebrated in song, and as the iconic Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (at one time called “the most dangerous woman in America”) fought for in labor strikes, union organizing, and a seminal autobiography. Wright, Lyons and Toledo have brought together voices of women poets in the workspaces they occupy: from cotton rows to corner suites, trawlers to typing pools, nursing stations to space stations, factory floors to faculty offices. These voices bear witness to women’s workplace lives, and act to re-envision and refigure the world of work for women.