Call for Submissions

Deadline Extension: MAY 1st !

This Bridge Called My Baby:

Legacies of Radical Mothering

en espanol

“We can learn to mother ourselves.” Audre Lorde, 1983

All mothers have the potential to be revolutionary. Some mothers stand on the shoreline, are born and reborn here, inside the flux of time and space, overcoming the traumatic repetition of oppression. Our very existence is disobedience to the powers that be.
At times, in moments, we as mothers choose to stand in a zone of claimed risk and fierce transformation, the frontline. In infinite ways, both practiced and yet to be imagined,  we put our bodies between the violent repetition of the norm and the future we already deserve, exactly because our children deserve it too.  We make this choice for many reasons and in different contexts, but at the core we have this in common: we refuse to obey. We refuse to give into fear. We insist on joy no matter what and by every means necessary and possible.
In this anthology we are exploring how we are informed by and participating with those mothers, especially radical women of color, who have sought for decades, if not centuries, to create relationships to each other, transformative relationships to feminism and a transnational anti-imperialist literary, cultural and everyday practice.

“We don’t want a space where kids feel that only adults can imagine ways to strengthen our communities and protect ourselves against the Architects of Despair,” Sora said, “and we don’t want adults to feel that either. We want to create a space where all of our imaginations help each other grow; but we realize that kids might get bored from sitting still the way that adults tend to do, so we set up the play room with toys and games.”  Regeneracion Childcare Collective 2007

Sometimes for radical mamas, our mothering in radical community makes visible the huge gulfs between communities, between parents and non-parents, in class and other privileges AND most importantly the wide gulf between what we say in activist communities and what we actually do. Radical mothering is the imperative to build bridges that allow us to relate across these very real barriers. For and by radical mother of color, but also inclusive of other working class, marginalized, low income, no income radical mothers.

“Parenting and being a role model to kids in your community is important because they will be the activists of tomorrow.  And they will be our gardeners and mothers and bakers. They will question our generation, they’ll write their own history, create new forms of art and media.”
-Noemi Martinez 2009

We find the idea of the “bridge” useful because we believe that  the radical practice of mothering is at once a practical and visionary relationship to the future IN the PRESENT, a bridge within time that can inspire us to relate to each other intentionally across generation and space.   We also acknowledge the not-so-radical default bridge function of marginalized mother in society.  How our children in particular get walked all over in terms of public policy that criminalizes our mothering and movement spaces that claim to be creating a transformed future without being fully accountable to parents or kids.

“I came into the Third World Women’s Caucus when it was well under way.  The women there were discussing the caucus resolution to be presented to the general conference.  There were Asian women, Latin women, Native Women and Afro-American women.  The discussion when I came in was around the controversial issue of motherhood and how the wording of the resolution could best reflect the feelings of those present.  It was especially heartening to hear other women affirm that not only should lesbian mothers be supported but that all third world women lesbians share in the responsibility for the care and nurturing of the children of individual lesbians of color…Another woman reminded us of the commitment we must take to each other when she said ‘All children (of lesbians) are ours.” -Doc in Off Our Backs 1979

We see this book as a continuation of the accountability invoking movement midwifing work of the 1981 anthology This Bridge Called My Back in that it:
a. is the work of writers who see their writing as part of a mothering practice, as not career, but calling and who believe that their writing, and their every creative practice has a strategic role in transforming the possible world.
b. contextualizes contemporary radical mama practices in relationship to socialist and lesbian mothering practices experimented with and practiced in the 1970’s by writers including Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Adrienne Rich, Third World Lesbians conference, Salsa Soul Sisters, Sisterhood of Black Single Mothers
c. seeks to speak to those who participated in that earlier practice and who have been informed by it as a primary audience, and to connect those who have not have access to that work to it

We invite submissions including but not limited to the following possibilities:

*Manifestas, group poems, letters, mission statements from your crew of radical mamas or an amazing group from history
*Letters, poems, transcribed phone calls between radical mamas supporting each other

*Accounts of your experience as a radical mama

*Your experience raising children as a trans mother or parent
*Raising children in a transphobic world
*Your experiences as a single mother
*Raising genderfree babies

*Stories of resilience and oppression as welfare warriors

*Reflections on enacting radical mamacity at different ages
*Motivations for/obstacles in your practice of radical mothering
*Conversations with your kids
*Rants and rages via the eloquence of a mother-wronged
*Your experience of radical grandmothering

* Parenting children through radically queer and loving modes of support, community, belonging and resilience

* Your take on reproductive justice

* Parenting from inside prison

* Extended family (both biological and chosen)

* Life as a disabled parent

* Your experience parenting as a teenager

* Raising Boys

* Gender socialization and Parenting

* Raising Biracial children

* Raising First World children

*Self-interviews, interviews with other mamis

*Birthing experiences
*Ending child sexual abuse
*Mothering as survivors (survival and mothering)
*Mothering with and without models
*Mothering and domination
*Mama to-do lists
*Mama/kid collaborations…
*Radical fathering
*Overcoming shame and silence in the practice of radical mothering

*Ambivalence, paradox, emotions, vulnerability

*Experiences of state violence/CPS

*Balancing daily survival

*Loss of children, not living with children, custody arrangements and issues

*Sharing your stories from where you live

*Everything we haven’t thought of yet! Take a deep breath and WRITE!!!!

This anthology will center the writing of mothers of color, low income mothers and marginalized mothers. If you have any further questions, feedback, suggestions feel free to contact us as well.

Please send submissions via email to:
or via snail mail to
P.O. Box 4803 Baltimore Maryland 21211
by April 1, 2011.

Word Count: 6,000 words or under

Please also send your bio (a short paragraph or whatever size you like) with the understanding you can update it if your piece is accepted in June.


22 thoughts on “Call for Submissions

    • Deadline: April 1, 2011
      Submissions: send to the three emails above, at the bottom of this entry
      Word Count: under 6,000 words

      thank you!

  1. Hi, I live in Denmark and a few months ago there was a lot of talk about this couple in Sweden who had had a baby and didn’t tell anyone what gender the baby had. They didn’t want their baby to be stereotyped into something and kept the babys gender hidden for that reason. They might have something interesting to ad to your book. I don’t know if it is relevant for your book but I have a link here (in Danish (you can use google translate)):

    • under 6,000 words. I know, I’m like that myself. First writing freely, then later reviewing and cutting back words, cutting and cutting, can really work out to make a great essay. but it can be exhausting and by the time your done you doubt yourself. best wishes!

  2. What an extraordinary vision! I am so excited to contribute my tribe’s story. Thank you for this opportunity to connect, share and expand with other sisters and mama’s!

  3. YES!!!!!!! Your call really made my day…. !!!!!

    As I shared it with the community I am part of the question came up, if submissions have to be in English, or if there are other languages allowed (German?)

  4. Hi again,

    I am afraid that the enthusiasm of my last comment did not make clear that I HAVE A QUESTION:

    Do submissions have to be in English? Or are other languages possible (e.g. German)?

    • hello bloombeautiful, I haven’t checked here for a while and I think we weren’t sure about having submissions in german or not. do you mean they would be printed in german or translated? I actually do have a german sister in law but I’m not sure her ability to translate. perhaps could you email for us to discuss if you would still like to: china 410 at hotmail. thank you and sorry for no response earlier.

    • hmmm….i think the short answer would be –yes– if you self identify after reading the call for submissions send us your stuff! and you dont have to be self identify as a mother to submit, either.

  5. This is exciting. For what it’s worth I am posting this on my site for radical childcare workers, parents and others interested in multigenerational movement building.

    Best wishes in this project!

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