Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices


 A NEW KIND OF WAVES CALL, December 9, 2016

Dear AROHO Women,

I am working along on Waves–sometimes I have to stop and lay my hands on your pages, or hold them to my heart, or cheer. That’s how powerful they are. I’m starting to get some ideas about the shaping of it all, and I’d like to put a call out for a couple of things. If you have any pieces (poems, prose, anything) that are explicitly connected to Woolf, I would love to consider them. I’m thinking that it would be good and right if the book can have pieces like that at its turning points, reminders of the reigning spirit of Waves. If your piece is only a bit longer than the original word limit (36 lines for poems, 500 words for everything else), please send it along anyway—I may be able to accommodate or ask permission to use it in part.

We’d also like to have a more general sense of honoring the women who came before, that thinking through our mothers that Woolf speaks of. I’d like to include, possibly to introduce each section, clusters of quotes: one from Woolf, one from another of our mothers, and one from one of us. So that the conversation goes backward and forward in time. As Maxine Hong Kingston said at Ghost Ranch:


infinity symbol



In Chinese time, it’s circular – it’s not even circular, it can go backwards! It can go backwards, it can go forward. It goes all over the place, it looks more like an infinity sign, like that. So there is a myth that poets have that my reader will come a thousand years from now. . . . Poem can also reach reader born 1,000 years before the poem. . . . An act of love I do this morning saves a life on a far future battlefield. And the surprising love I feel that saves my life comes from a person whose soul, somehow corresponding with my soul, doing me a good deed 1,000 years ago.

—Maxine Hong Kingston

So additionally, if you have a Woolf quote that has been important to you or some words from a woman writer or teacher who has opened a way for you or held you and your work up when you needed it, I would love to see those too.

I’ll choose the words of our part of the conversation out of the pieces of work you’ve already sent (with permission, of course). If you have something to submit, please do so through Submittable, and spread the word if you can!


In the next week or so, there will be another mailing of notes about earlier submissions. I have done another round of selection but find I don’t yet know enough about the shape of the book to give definitive acceptances. Our intention is to include as many of your pieces as possible, so I hope that you will allow us to keep your work under consideration if it is part of this most recent selection. We are accepting both published and unpublished work and so for our part there is no problem if a piece is published elsewhere as the Waves work continues.

Wishing you all the best as the New Year comes,

Diane Gilliam, Waves Editor