Letters Lived Update! 

We’ve previously written about the revolutionary writer and activist Grace Lee Boggs, who graciously wrote the powerful foreword to Letters Lived: Radical reflections, revolutionary paths, a collection that features letters written by a diverse group of cross-generational social justice activists to their teen selves. At present time, health issues have prevented Grace from participating in public events or extensive interviews. Grace’s legacy of “rebuilding, respiriting and redefining” cities from the ground up has been at the core of the organizations and processes she has been a part of for over 70 years. Today we show tribute to Grace by sharing the ongoing work of the contributors to Letters Lived, who continue to make an impact and fight for the inclusive, community-driven society Grace has always envisioned. Next week we’ll be sharing updates from more contributors so stay tuned!

Rae Spoon

Canadian writer and indie musician Rae Spoon is currently on a national tour with west coast singer/accordion player, Geoff Berner. You can find event and ticket info here. Spoon recently published Gender Failure in collaboration with Ivan E. Coyote, a book based on their live multimedia show of autobiographical essays and lyrics. The Advocate recently named Gender Failure one of The Year’s 10 Best Transgender Non-Fiction Books.

Juliet Jacques

Juliet Jacques regularly writes about gender identity and counter culture for UK publications. Jacques also dabbles in fiction and recently published a short story titled “Surveillance City” in the art magazine Queen Mob’s Tea House about the “transgressive, performative or erotic possibilities of surveillance.” Jacques also contributed to New Yorker Sheila Heti’s book Women in Clothes. A review of Women in Clothes by the New Statesman discusses Jacques important contribution:

“One of the most revealing interviews is Heti’s discussion with the NS writer Juliet Jacques, who is transsexual. To be accepted as a woman, Jacques not only had to learn a new way of dressing but new mannerisms, a new voice – even a new way of sneezing. “Women are socially policed to behave with more restraint,” she tells Heti.”

The Independent recently recognized Jacques in their annual Rainbow List of the lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people who are making a real difference in the UK. Be sure to keep an eye out for her upcoming book, Trans: A Memoir, to be published by Verso in 2015.

Selma James

Women’s rights pioneer and author Selma James remains active as the founder of the Wages for Housework campaign, a grassroots collective that fights for the rights of women and caregivers who make up the majority of unwaged, domestic labour. The Occupied Times recently published a great in-depth interview with the prolific writer that you should definitely check out to get a better sense of James’ thoughts on everything from technology to Marx and social movement theory.

Elisha Lim

Toronto-based artist and activist Elisha Lim has remained loyal to their goal of self-publishing a calendar, comic or zine every year. 100 Crushes is Lim’s latest release, with artwork that radically challenges mainstream representations of race and gender. Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, who runs a blog dedicated to books of interest for queer Canadian women, selected 100 Crushes as one of her most anticipated books of 2014:

100 Crushes is a compilation of five years’ worth of comics and some new material about queer dating, travel, gender non-conformity, and other such fun stuff.  I hope this book garners the praise Lim’s work deserves!”

Koyama Press published Lim’s debut graphic novel in June 2014.

Shea Howell

A Detroit-based activist and professor of communications at Oakland University, Shea Howell has been writing and organizing on issues of social difference and anti-oppression for four decades. Howell currently lectures at Oakland University and writes a weekly column for the Michigan Citizen called “Thinking for Ourselves,” in which she is critical of policies that undermine democracy and ecological sustainability. You can read her column here.